When you’re in a hole

Spain, being in a hole, decides to fire up the excavator and start moving some serious dirt:

Spain’s government defiantly rejected calls for mediation Wednesday over Catalonia’s push for independence, which the country’s king warned was endangering national stability.

As the European Union urged dialogue to ease the standoff between separatists in the northeastern region and Madrid, Catalan leaders said they could unilaterally declare independence as early as Monday.

The tone of the crisis sharpened with Catalonia’s president denouncing the king’s intervention and Spain’s government rejecting any possible talks.

“The government will not negotiate over anything illegal and will not accept blackmail,” said a statement from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s office.

The military has reportedly been sent in:

SPAIN has sent two convoys of troops into Catalonia in a move that is likely to anger the regional parliament.

Troops from the Logistic Support Group 41 (AALOG 41) who are based in Aragon were told of their move at about 7pm last night.

The exact number of soldiers is not known but according to the newspaper El Confidencial, two contingents of troops are being sent in 20 trucks.

It is understood their orders are to provide logistical support to the Guardia Civil and national police still stationed in the region.

The appearance of troops is likely to be seen as highly controversial as the President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont has previously referred to the presence of the Guardia Civil and national police as “occupying forces” and had said they should leave all four of the Catalan provinces immediately.

You’d think the Spanish government would be trying to de-escalate the situation, rather than the reverse. There is no way that using force against the separatists will end well. Isn’t that obvious?

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