For some, Spain’s crackdown on the Catalonian independence vote has raised the specter of the country’s authoritarian past. Reuters/Susana Vera
I have long worried about the rise of authoritarianism in the European Union.
The Spanish government’s violent crackdown during the Catalonia referendum on Oct. 1 is the latest crisis to challenge EU institutions. Several member states are facing serious questions about territorial sovereignty. Just look to the Scottish referendum to leave the U.K. and questions opened up by the Brexit vote over the Irish border.
Catalonia experienced a level of police brutality not often seen in developed democracies. More than 800 people were injured, more than 100 of whom were hospitalized. Yet, in a rare televised appearance, King Felipe VI expressed full support for the Spanish government’s actions.