Will Spain be torn apart?
The Catalans are pressing for independence. They could make common cause with the Scots
The year is 2015 and Artur Mas, the president of Catalonia, Europe’s newest independent nation, is holding talks with Alex Salmond, who has just secured a “yes” in his referendum on Scottish independence and wants advice on how to translate his compatriots’ aspirations into reality.
Mas, an affable, bespectacled figure, is enjoying the prestige that comes from being transformed from a regional leader into the president of a prosperous nation of 7.5m people with an economy the size of Portugal’s: other European separatists, from disgruntled Bretons in France to Italy’s Northern League, are queuing up for appointments in the grand medieval Palau de la Generalitat, his presidential palace.
Fanciful? Not necessarily.