The last few days have been full of tension here in Catalonia as long awaited events have been resolved, one via the ballot box and the other on the sports field.
The first important event were the elections for the Generalitat, the autonomous government of Catalonia, which saw a noticeable swing to the right which may well be reflected more generally in Spain over the next 6 months as other regions hold their own elections. This change was accompanied by a high turnout (60%) and emphasized peoples desire for change after 7 years of a Socialist coalition and a confused "head in the sand" approach to the general crisis which has swept Catalonia as well as the rest of Spain.
The second event was not political per se, but sporting, the football (soccer) league game between Barcelona and Madrid held at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona with over 90,000 fervent spectators cheering their respective teams. This particular game is far more than a football game, having been elevated to a status akin to a direct battle between the Catalan people and their oppressors, the central government as represented by the Madrid team who tax and control them excessively, so the general feeling goes. In actual fact the result was an absolute domination by Barcelona with a convincing 5-0 annihilation, and a show of skills which were spine tingling to watch and led to much celebration here for hours afterwards.
My feeling is that these two events could spark a feeling of renewed self confidence within Catalonia which might just help get them through the economic problems they have been engulfed in over the last few years, certainly they surprised everyone with the results of these two events, not least themselves!