The demand for independence from a segment of the Catalan Spanish peoples has the potential for a domino effect not only within Spain but also in Europe where the EU already faces the complications arising from the Brexit vote. Apart from the potential inspiration to other provincial dialects within Spain, The French Republic may have to keep a weather eye on their Occitan-speakers in the south –with their well-developed sense of being Occitan and a claim to the region known as Langue D’Oc.
Any such move could then spark the provinciality of the Breton peoples! That is just one potential instance of what is called “The Domino Effect.” Listen to Joseph Borell at http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/31/europe/catalonia-independence-spain/index.html
The potential similarities implied by the juxtaposition of photographs is, of course, overdone. Catalan may be located in the north-eastern quadrant of Spain, but it is also the richest and most prosperous of the Spanish provinces. It does not have the benefit of a Catalan-speaking provincial state next door in France. Thus, the likelihood of France playing the type of role (or roles) adopted by the central government of India in the 1970s and 1980s vis a vis Sri Lanka is out of the question.
In brief, Any charting of similarities and dissimilarities will have to be grounded and meticulously charted. Perhaps the more meaningful lesson is this: democratic structures of government, in all their modern variety, are inherently fissiparous and produce some leaders who are as persuasive as manipulative.
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