BBC – Unrest drags Spain towards buried unpleasant truths

“Independence for Catalonia? Over my dead body… and those of many soldiers.” That was how Francisco Alaman reacted to the 1.5 million strong demonstration in Barcelona last month, with many calling for independence for the region.

It’s a view. Quite strongly held not just on the right in Spain but on the centre left. However Alaman is a serving soldier: a colonel. And it wasn’t the only incendiary thing he said. In the week tens of thousands of protesters surrounded parliament, he told the website Alerta Digital:  “The current situation is very similar to 1936, but without blood. Unfortunately, the data indicate that the situation will only get worse in the coming months and years.”

Economics journalists have learned, (thanks to the work of the FT’s Gillian Tett), to ask a very brutal and searching question as we parachute into the latest theatre of crisis: look for the social silence. What is staring you in the face but nobody wants to talk about it?
 
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