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Russian expert doubts Madrid will use force in Catalonia

October 27, 20:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier Catalan parliament passed a resolution declaring republic's independence from Spain

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© AP Photo/Santi Palacios

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. The Catalan parliament’s adoption of a declaration of independence has confounded the Spanish government, as Madrid is unlikely to use force for fear of political consequences, but it cannot leave this manifestation of separatism unattended, Valdai International Discussion Club expert Tatyana Koval told TASS.

Koval, who is also Deputy Head of the Ibero-American Department of the Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the Russian Higher School of Economics, said that "it actually is a no-win situation." "Madrid cannot use force and take any tough actions because in that case supporters of democracy would rise, but on the other hand, Madrid cannot leave Catalonia alone because it is an actual violation of the Constitution, separatism per se," she noted.

The expert also said that Catalonia’s declaration of independence was cheap politics. "Why it is cheap politics? Because no one has calculated the economic consequences of this step. It is all just words - let us secede, we don’t want to not support Spain anymore. But in fact, they receive a lot of funds from the central government, covering unreasonable expenses and perhaps even the Catalan authorities’ frauds," Koval added.

"No one has thought what would become of Catalonia if it secedes [from Spain]. Had it been done, it could have intimidated the supporters of independence - there are not that many of them in fact, they are just very active," the Russian expert pointed out.

Koval stressed that the Catalan authorities’ actions definitely ran counter to the Spanish Constitution. "But I can understand the logic of the Catalan separatists, because they have already gone far and if they stop now, they will lose their supporters. But on the other hand, they have created an impasse," Koval concluded.

Catalonia crisis

Earlier on Friday, the Catalan parliament passed a resolution declaring a republic independent of Spain. Rounds of applause broke out in the chamber after the results of the vote had been announced.

Meanwhile, the Spanish government plans to file an appeal with the Constitutional Court against Catalonia’s declaration of independence, the Europa Press news agency reported.

On October 1, Catalonia held a referendum on seceding from Spain. A total of 90.18% of the voters, or more than two million people, said "yes" to Catalonia’s independence. Madrid said the referendum was illegal and refused to recognize its results.

The Catalan authorities insist that the plebiscite was held legitimately, while they only delayed the declaration of independence for a few weeks in order to make one last attempt to build dialogue with Madrid.

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