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Protesters hold Spanish flags during a demonstration called by “Societat Civil Catalana” (Catalan Civil Society) to support the unity of Spain on Sunday in Barcelona. Photograph: Jorge Guerrro/AFP/Getty Images

Josep Borrell, a veteran leader of the Catalan section of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), last weekend showed the kind of democratic lead(...)

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has responded to every Catalan move towards this referendum with block-headed predictability, perfectly fitting the script set out for him by the ‘Govern’ in Barcelona. Photograph: JJ Guillen/EPA

Whatever happens next in Catalonia, the Catalan nationalists’ independence referendum campaign had already proved a significant success, from their ow(...)

  National Day of Catalonia in   Barcelona,  September 11th, 2014: Catalan nationalists say they will declare independence if they win a majority in the referendum, regardless of the level of participation. Photograph:  Albert Gea/Reuters

Barcelona was the first city in Spain I ever visited, back in 1973. The great Catalan capital was then resisting the dying clutches of the Franco dic(...)

 Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy speaks about the recent unofficial Catalonian independence poll  in Madrid yesterday. Photograph:  Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Wise conservatives often quote The Leopard, the novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, in which a leading aristocratic character comments that it is s(...)

Pedro Sánchez applauds supporters at the PSOE headquarters in Madrid  after winning the race for the party’s leadership. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

On Sunday night, following Pedro Sánchez’s resounding victory in the leadership contest of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), politicians of(...)

Pedro Sánchez: recast himself as the standard-bearer of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party’s left wing. Photograph: Quique Garcia/EPA

As he stepped up to an outdoor podium on Wednesday in the mountainous eastern town of Teruel, Pedro Sánchez didn’t look like a man hoping to lead Spai(...)

Pedro Sánchez speaks  at the Spanish Parliament  in Madrid. Many view his stridently leftist new persona with scepticism. Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

With hundreds of his supporters gathered in a convention centre in the southern city of Cádiz, on March 12th, Pedro Sánchez produced a surprise gambit(...)

The re-election of Mariano Rajoy as Spanish prime minister by parliament last weekend deserves a qualified welcome. It averts the option of a third in(...)

Many observers had predicted that two autonomous elections late last month might assist Spain’s acting prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, in his determine(...)

Socialist Party (PSOE) leader, Pedro Sánchez, speaking after his resignation. Photograph: Fernando Villar/EPA

A caretaker executive has taken control of the Spanish Socialist Party, as it struggles to unite following a split which has led to the resignation of(...)

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