Financial Times – Catalonia looks to Scots for inspiration

Camp Nou, a cathedral of Catalan nationalism as well as the home of FC Barcelona, turned separatist at this month’s match between Barça and its historic Spanish rival, Real Madrid.

At 17 minutes and 14 seconds into the game – to mark Catalonia’s defeat by the Spanish crown in 1714 – the stadium-wide mosaic of the traditional national flag, the Senyera, flipped over into the starred flag of Catalan separatists, ubiquitous since a vast secessionist rally occupied Barcelona last month.

The football itself ended in a well-fought 2-2 draw, a fair reflection of the constitutional battle between Catalonia and the rest of Spain. But it was foreigners – Lionel Messi for Barça and Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid – who scored the goals for each side.

Foreigners may also help determine the outcome of the increasingly shrill struggle between Barcelona and Madrid over whether Catalonia has a future inside Spain – at least if the Generalitat, Catalonia’s autonomous government, has its way.

Already, Catalan leaders are highlighting how the British government has calmly agreed to a Scottish referendum on independence, arguing over the details of the plebiscite rather than Scotland’s right to decide its own future.

Read @ Financial Times