Protesters took to the streets of the Spanish capital yesterday to demonstrate against the government's policy of dialogue with Catalan separatists. Tomorrow is the start of the trial of 12 separatists, following their failed cessation bid in 2017.
Thousands of people demonstrated in Madrid on Sunday (February 10) against Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's proposed talks to ease political tensions in Catalonia, in a protest organised by centre-right and far-right opposition parties.
Leaders of the 2017 Catalan independence referendum are facing a combined total of 217 years in prison for inciting rebellion. Defending their rights is in the self-interest of Europe if it wants to remain a leading force for democracy.
While many would agree that the Spanish Constitution has served its purpose in keeping a fragile democracy in tact, many more Spaniards would agree that the time has come to make changes to the 40-year-old document. Agreement on what these changes should be is a different matter altogether.
The Catalan independence movement is just one of the many obstacles facing a push to modernise the Spanish Constitution. In order to make sure it serves the needs of all Spaniards today, we have to solve our long-standing problems first.