crisis, including invoking Article 155, which would allow the government to suspend Catalan autonomy in the event of a declaration of independence. Meanwhile, in the week after the referendum, two of the largest Catalan banks, Banco de Sabadell and Caixa, moved their headquarters out of Catalonia. The winemaker Freixenet did the same, along with a string of other Catalan companies, causing major embarrassment to Catalonia’s leaders.
Puigdemont is adamant that Spain cannot ignore the two million Catalans who voted for independence. Nor can he afford to ignore how businesses have voted with their feet by moving their headquarters from Catalonia in the aftermath of the disputed referendum.
Politically, Radcliffe warned of the dangers of “each side hunkering down in nationalist rhetoric rather than figuring out how to bring their conflicting visions of ‘what democracy means’ into the conversation”.
At Plaça Sant Jaume, the man in the red beret is clear that only a breakaway from Spain will address his grievances. Although two million people seem to share his sentiment and voted for independence, the “silent majority” of Catalans who did not vote found their voice last week and held huge rallies of their own to call for dialogue. Some were neutral and wore white to show it, others waved the Spanish flag instead of the Senyera, all of which underscored divisions not only in Spain but in Catalonia too.