Like most other European democracies, though not Britain, Spain has a written constitution that upholds national unity. Any referendum on independence risks being copied in other regions, potentially breaking up the country.
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International law, in effect, recognises no right to self-determination by a region in an advanced democracy. That said, in dealing with Catalonia and the grievances of a large minority of its people, Mr Rajoy never found a balance of firmness, understanding and proportionality. Charging Carles Puigdemont, the fugitive former Catalan president, and his colleagues with rebellion, under a law aimed at stopping military coups, was self-defeating.
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Predictably, a German court ruled that Mr Puigdemont could be extradited only on a lesser charge, prompting the Spanish court to desist. The best course would be to free the Catalan prisoners and charge them all with disobeying the constitution, punishable with lengthy disqualification from office.
That requires politically difficult constitutional changes. With only 84 of the seats in Congress, he would be wise to call an election sooner. Government has lost momentum since the PP lost its majority in Spain cannot afford two more years of doing nothing. In the Socialists and Ciudadanos it has the elements of a future reformist coalition. That matters: the best way to defeat separatists is to make Spain as a whole more effective and attractive.
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By contrast, gridlock in Madrid risks reinforcing the stand-off in Catalonia and wasting the chance to turn the economic recovery into a Spanish renaissance. Join them. Subscribe to The Economist today. Media Audio edition Economist Films Podcasts. New to The Economist? Sign up now Activate your digital subscription Manage your subscription Renew your subscription. Topics up icon.
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The study polled participants from 40 different countries on different topics and what is considered morally acceptable and unacceptable, including questions on marital affairs, gambling, homosexuality, premarital sex and getting a divorce. Andalusia became the second region in Europe in July to allow transgender people to establish their correct gender without medical diagnosis or legal authorization, voting a law called L ey integral para la no discriminación por motivos de identidad de género y reconocimiento de los derechos de las personas transexuales,.
This law is a blueprint for both Europe and the world, as it contains a judicial framework for the legal equality of transsexuals and it serves as a tool with which to defend oneself against discrimination from society or the authorities. WorldPride Madrid wants to gather the whole international LGBT community and invites all Prides to claim, celebrate and share the experience of transformation, to demonstrate that another world is possible. Madrid has a thriving and very active gay scene.
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