Execute not pardon: the Spanish dilemma of the European Union

The keys to conflict resolution between Barcelona and Madrid are in Brussels, said RISS expert Igor Pshenichnikov.

"Brussels chooses between two forms of evil: the collapse of Spain and the bloodshed, and rather agree with possible secession of Catalonia from Spain, than with the threat of war," said the researcher. He added that the kingdom "faces the threat of collapse," as in the case of secession of Catalonia from Spain the Basques and other regions of Spain can also claim independence.

The expert noted that "most likely, Brussels will literally force Madrid either to recognize referendum as legitimate or to claim a new referendum by initiative of Madrid."

In expert opinion, probable bloodshed is more than justified. "People of the Iberian Peninsula are accustomed to the smell of blood. Basque terrorist group ETA operated in Spain until 2011. There were explosions, murders and so on. People accustomed to violence, it is easy for them to take up arms," said the expert.

"To allow bloodshed in the old Europe means for Brussels to claim its full inability," he stressed. According to the analyst, the statement of the representative of the European Commission, who called on the conflict parties to sit down at the negotiating table, is connected with this fact. "These words were primarily addressed to Madrid. Thus, Brussels has claimed that it is considering Barcelona and Madrid as equal partners. Moreover, Juncker earlier said that if Catalonia would secede from Spain, it would not be the EU member, and it would have to undergo the same procedures for the EU accession as other countries. This suggests that European bureaucracy keeps the possibility of separation of Catalonia somewhere in the subconscious and doesn’t consider it as a problem," concluded the researcher.

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