First, Scotland. Now, Catalonia

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from Bloomberg Businessweek,

Spain’s wrong way of dealing with an independence movement.

Like the Scots, the Catalans want a referendum on independence. Unlike the British, the Spaniards aren’t inclined to let them have it. This is a mistake, and Spain’s leaders need to show some unwonted statesmanship by making a vote possible—even as they campaign for continued union.

Catalonia’s local government scheduled a Nov. 9 referendum, but on Sept. 30, Spain’s Constitutional Court suspended it. This is the same court that issued a ruling four years ago—in a case brought, like this one, by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party—that gutted a 2006 law granting Catalonia more autonomy.

The Catalans were bitter about the court’s actions, but the Popular Party has made the situation worse by stonewalling their demands and engaging in other provocations. Support for independence in Catalonia has grown to more than 50 percent, according to recent polls, from as little as 15 percent in 2007—and it’s unlikely to fall after the latest ruling.

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