As the war of words between Catalunya and Madrid begins to heat to an alarming temperature, the Spanish military is exhibiting the sort of sabre-rattling one may expect from the central State. In response to threats of full Catalun independence
A serving army officer, Colonel Francisco Alaman, has fuelled the flames by comparing the crisis with 1936 – when Gen Francisco Franco seized power – and by vowing to crush Catalan nationalists, described as “vultures”. “Independence for Catalunya? Over my dead body. Spain is not Yugoslavia or Belgium. Even if the lion is sleeping, don’t provoke the lion, because he will show the ferocity proven over centuries,” he said.Strangely, this crisis in Spain has been provoked by Brussels - see my June blog. It may be that this is deliberate; there is, after all, nothing so effective as the prospect of a Spanish Yugoslavia to get Germany to empty her handbag. But if so they are playing with fire.