How to Solve the Catalan Crisis

Catalonia does not have a right under international law to unilaterally declare independence from Spain. But if it becomes clear that a large part of the people, possibly a majority, favor independence, then the only sensible thing for Madrid to do is to hold a dialogue with the leaders of that region. Negotiations do not imply that the government is going to accept independence, any more than the British government accepted a united Ireland in the Good Friday negotiations. The conservative government in Madrid, however, has always refused any such dialogue.

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