There is one fac­tor that is new. This is the pro­found dis­il­lu­sion­ment of the young with main­stream pol­i­tics all over Europe since the cri­sis

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE -

snap­ping up ev­ery­thing. Spain, like Ire­land, and un­like most other EU coun­tries, is cul­tur­ally a home-own­ing so­ci­ety.

If you are young and can’t get a de­cent job that pays prop­erly, plus your rent is go­ing through the roof, what’s the sta­tus quo do­ing for you? Why not back the sep­a­ratists?

By Mon­day the Cata­lan na­tion­al­ists say they will de­clare in­de­pen­dence. It’s im­pos­si­ble to know what hap­pens next. How­ever, there is an un­for­tu­nate mix of weak lead­er­ship in Madrid, a weak­ened econ­omy in Spain, the le­gacy of the

Na­tion­al­ism is here to stay in Europe, but Yu­goslavia shows just how dan­ger­ous na­tional dis­in­te­gra­tion can be. And the day you leave can be the high point.

For ex­am­ple in Croa­tia, since in­de­pen­dence var­i­ous na­tion­al­ist nar­ra­tives have taken over the pub­lic dis­course. Wrap­ping your­self in the flag is still the way in­com­pe­tent xeno­phobes cam­ou­flage eco­nomic and na­tional in­ad­e­qua­cies. Pri­vately, many Croa­t­ian friends of mine lament the pass­ing of the ec­cen­tric but rea­son­ably suc­cess­ful fed­er­a­tion that was Yu­goslavia.

You won­der too whether the Cata­lans will in a few years look back nos­tal­gi­cally at old Spain if they de­cide to take the plunge now.

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