The objective is the same, to hold a referendum, but in a different way, says the president of Catalonia Artur Mas. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Catalonia has abandoned plans to stage an illegal referendum on independence in November, apparently averting an imminent collision with the Spanish a(...)

A demonstration in favour of Catalan independence in 2010. A recent opinion poll suggested 60 per cent of people in the region favour a split from Spain. Photograph: Gustau Nacarino/Reuters

Crimea’s secession from Ukraine has inevitably drawn comparisons with other territories seeking to break away from the state that governs them.(...)