If the Catalan government thought that the European Union would come to its rescue, it was badly advised. The EU is sticking with Spain and its headline attitude towards independence in Catalonia. The EU is not willing to get involved, well at least publicly. The Catalan government, effectively sacked by Madrid last weekend, has few cards to play. It can just rely on a campaign of civil disobedience, to try and thwart Madrid’s drive to take away home rule.

The Catalan crisis continues to make banner headlines, but I suspect that time is running out for the Catalan drive for independence. Madrid has all the cards and new regional elections are set to take place in the New Year. What is going to happen if the parties who want independence from Spain actually win the elections I do not know, but so far it looks as if Madrid is winning all the battles. One thing is for sure; the world now knows of the Catalan battle for indepedence but it matters very little. No nation bar Venezuela has broken ranks and has said that it will recognise an independent Catalan state. Everyone else has fallen nicely into line behind Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy. However, he must be careful. The governments of the world may support him but he is walking a fine line. Any repeat of the violence seen on the day of the referendum could mean that he loses some of his hard-fought international support. The ball is in his court.