"Prime minister David Cameron authorised Edinburgh to organise their vote: the pro-independence side lost. Rajoy should follow that example." That's what an editorial by French newspaper Le Monde says this Tuesday, the day after the Diada, Catalonia's National Day. They write that the "hundreds of thousands of Catalans who have marched in the streets for five years" should be able to vote in a referendum as the Scots did.
"The president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, and the head of the Spanish government, Mariano Rajoy, are in open conflict. The antagonism has rarely been so intense." With these words, Le Monde starts its article which explains that, although the Spanish government has declared the referendum to be illegal, the Catalan government is ready to organise it. The newspaper says that the conflict has grown "with a total absence of dialogue. Both sides are sure they are right" saying this "is a dangerous spiral... for Europe".
The editorial says that "for every action by the Catalan government, Madrid refers it to the justice system, successfully" giving the example that "the Constitutional Court has banned the organisation of the vote". It also notes that Madrid is putting pressure on civil servants to prevent the vote, and Barcelona is putting pressure on city councils for it to go ahead.
To explain the background to the current conflict, it mentions the Constitutional Court's 2010 decision to strike down part of the new Statute of Autonomy "adopted in 2006 by the then-government and comfortably approved by a referendum". It says this Statute reform was in response to "the aspirations of this region, which produces a fifth of Spain's wealth".
Finally, before encouraging Mariano Rajoy to follow the example of Scotland and allow the Catalan referendum, the editorial predicts that "on 1st October, if the vote takes place, only independence supporters will go to vote and they will pocket a victory, which will be immediately judged illegal".