The Spanish gov’t screwed this up with every step. The referendum was forecast to fail.
But then Madrid outlawed the vote which brought out only the pro-independence supporters who voted 90% in favor out of the 48% of the electorate. The Police over-reacted with a heavy hand and rubber bullets and just ticked off Catalonians more.
Then the Spanish King spoke like a medieval ruler and Madrid lied about the police abuse.
Then they tell Catalonia no matter what they think or do, they will lose autonomy without any dialogue except to invite the PM to speak in Madrid to an audience that was going to strip power anyway.
So Catalonia did what I’d expected, declared Independence. If Madrid is that stupid, they deserve the result. The next step will be troops in the streets and street battles. This was avoidable.