The Catalonia question

Opinion Focus: The October 1 independence referendum in Catalonia has plunged Spain into a constitutional crisis, threatening to undermine the post-Franco settlement. Here is the best of our comment and analysis

Catalans cannot vote to secede without affecting Spanish citizens elsewhere

The nationalists’ push for independence risks opening a Pandora’s box of problems

Experience shows both sides are more likely to agree if a third party is involved

Dialogue, not a declaration of independence, is paramount

Catalans have brought questions of identity and cohesion to the world’s attention

Allowing an independence referendum need not mean making separation easy

An existential crisis was sparked by declining role in Spanish politics

Helping Madrid and the separatists step back from the brink is not a job for the EU