Catalan independence ‘impossible to stop’

BARCELONA // In a small office in central Barcelona, surrounded by boxes overflowing with the red-and-yellow Catalan flag, a young political activist can smell victory.

“Catalonia has to become an independent state, and it is almost impossible to stop now,” said Ignasi Termes, a member of La Assemblea Nacional Catalana, an umbrella organisation of pro-independence outfits.

The Spanish government is already struggling to cope with 25 per cent unemployment, violent protests against spending cuts, and the prospect that it will have to seek a bailout from euro-zone partners. It can scarcely afford to deal with rebellious provinces, yet this is the moment when Catalonia, its wealthy northeastern state, has decided to strike off on the road to independence.

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