Again, I don't think anyone in here is suggesting that Spain can effectively prevent Catalonia independence, but they - along with the rest of EU and the world - can effectively (and probably will) prevent a successful independence. That is, a separation of Spain without a prolonged period of downturn and hardship for Catalonians.
On independence, Catalonia will insist like we continue being schengen and euro and will not close our borders. I doubt european will create borders to repress Catalonia, this ghostly legitimacy will keep Catalonia in europe on practice. Massive catalan movilizations on brussels and a massive civilized european route to get signatures from all european countries will impact to much to be ignored. Marketing campaigns on europe for catalan acceptation without reapplying for years will be very potent marchs to please citizens europeans from all countries and will unite europe on the feeling of accepting catalans, a modern pro european nation, since the beginning.
While all of this is happening a period of "downturn and hardship" with Spain and Europe is already covered on independentist economic plans. At start of independence spanish debt will not be accepted because this is key to negotiate with Spain and Europe. This implies while we are officially out of Europe as repression we have 0 debt for this downtime phase of independence and will dedicate our no debt start to increase rights of catalans like radically changing energy industry for a cheapest and green energy plan and increasing GDP per capita by . Catalan think tanks have plans for a wealthy future and know international studies and advices about how to adchieve this:
-earned income tax credits (EITCs) We believe EITCs are more appropriate than current moves to raise minimum wages given the latter could lead to higher unemployment
-lowering tax wedges
-incentives to support self-employment.
-Preparing a basic income for all catalan citizens, this could warrant a minimun standard of living.
It's also easy to sit inside Catalonia and think a large portion of the rest of the world is sympathetic. But in reality, while there are sympathetic voices, they are in the vast minority and most of them don't care enough about Catalonia to actively do something when push comes to shove.
The fact that Catalonia has the largest percentage of tourists in Spain doesn't make a damn difference. Hell, if independence happens, and it throws getting to Catalonia into chaos (Will Catalonia be part of EASA? Will flights be permitted to cross Spanish airspace into Catalonia? Will France allow it? Airlines have deals with Spain, not Catalonia, how will they arrange flights to Catalonia immediately? etc.), the immediately reaction from tourists would be irritation at the Catalonia independence, because it is disrupting their holiday plans. It will hardly be sympathetic.
 That is, without the threat or use of force
Sympathethyc voices will increase to majorities because the world will be informed of everything we do, the plans of catalan government will be exquisite from both: the right and the left points of view. Catalan plans will be a model for future societies, we aren't Kurdistan, we already have studied lots of plans to grow and change to become a better country for citizens after independence. Catalonia wants to be a model of future and this is NOT empty speech about awaiting a divine destiny; catalans have a lot of pro active and realistic plans for a radical change and drive our future with success on harmony with European marketing and the future needs and objectives.
About tourism, catalonia will play to ignore independence on flight arrengements and pretend we inherited spanish arrengements about flights with others countries. While this is negated, if it is, there are lots of other countries wanting special arrangements to stop on mediterranean. Madrid have been boycotting flights to Catalonia already, and force other countries to stop preferently on Madrid. After independence, Madrid will have to openly compete with Barcelona without spain's dirty policies ruling catalans airports. Also seaports will benefit from not having to invest 50% of the private benefits on rescueing every year the more than six brankrupted seaports of Spain.
Finally our selfdetermination will allow us to create new arrangements, Madrid for the past 20 years derailed sea and air arrangements to be derailed from Catalonia to Madrid or other regions. It was a soft boycott year by year. We are very tired of Spain, we will do much better now. Like the mediterranean corridor, derailed for twenty years to pass for Madrid, hello? wheres the mediterranean on Madrid? its centralism have been critizied by europe from a lot of time ago. Madrid used mediterranean corridor to invest european
money against catalan needs and european technician logics.
First spanish proposal:
at the left the logic of european technicians for mediterranean corridor, at the right the counterproposal of Spain, like always, against Catalonia (and Valencia, another abused catalan country)
Europe didn't accept but european money have been wasted and foudned first the first spanish plan, now they needed more money and are doing spanish counterproposals. Since a mont or two ago Spain is saying the european proposal will be made. Now that Catalonia is leaving tired of Spanish boycotts? haha
You have no idea how is being the second most populous region of Spain and always be boycottd and mistreated, economically and culturally with dirty Madrid policies.
And anger Spain? Other countries who gained independence were not immediately accepted. Even Scotland would have to negotiate entrance to EU if it gets its independence. Why would Catalonia be different?
That's what is said to persuade from succession. But you must be joking if you think Europe will accept migrants but not their previous european citizens under a new country name. This would break Europe if they dont accept them instantly. Like I said, accepting sirian migrants but no a new country that their citizens already had membership of europe would threaten human rights and faith on a democratic Europe. The only way is accepting the previous european citizens as fast as possible, with a soft period of half acceptance, but this soft period will put european reputation in danger of breaking human rights, because scottish/catalan want to continue being european. That is something that never happened before.
Anger Spain is futile as European human rights and the previous policies like welcoming reffuggees comes first and acceptance of democracy is the whole reputation of Europe.
People and tourists don't get to decide anything, though; governments and nations do. It doesn't matter if Catalans aren't aggressive, are very friendly, were oppresed by Franco 60 years ago, are treated badly by Spain etc etc. None of that matters, because people also have their own problems at home. Not to mention, since Europe is focused on unity, any news regarding the independence will be filtered through independence-unfriendly filters. I mean, it's a given. Unless you get everyone to go and make up their own minds (no nation can do this), they'll know about Catalan largely what their countries want to know. That's a fact.Just like most of EU would side with Spain, as would China, Latin America, US, Middle East. So all of those nations would simply portray the independence as bad, or give very little coverage to it, as they've done with the problems in Kosovo and other nations post-intervention. This is all fact that you are ignoring.
After independence, Europe is forced to change its mind and instantly accept Catalonia, because how could you welcome far away reffugges and negate membership to people that yesterday were european and want to stay? Not accepting them fast enough is more theatening to Europe than angering Spain. Why Hungary or Polland would accept Brussels policies in Human Rights and democracy name after this? I am sorry but I dont envision Europe accepting to get a bad reputation of mistreating small countries than want to stay european after succession. The price is much higher than promoting new independence remaining inside Europe. As neighbours inside europe anything is possible like helping the poor regions behind, but at the moment Europe starts to mistreat small countries, this will be the end of the faith in a good Europe. And every time a EU country have a problem wil seek help outside breaking faith on Europe even more. Catalonia will be a change of mindset forever, in a good or a bad way, and will have consequences even if they mistreat Catalonia because they dont want to accept consequences, consequences will come by backing sirian but not neighbours wanting to continue being europeans.
In the worst case, if Europe thinks mistreating catalans will be safer, new actors (international countries) will arrive to get the flag of human rights on the case of europe mistreates catalans. It will be a great opportunity for a worlwide leading China, Russia (BRICKS) and promote their economies while they can show their civilizations like more social and merciful than Europe.
Europe will tolerate whatever it has to tolerate in the name of unity and stability. They've tolerated wars in the Balkans before up until it was better to intervene. They will do the same thing with Catalonia. As Svip put it, even if independence is granted, which would take many years to happen due to all aforementioned reasons, it will be on Europe's terms. And they will be harsh with Catalonia. And it is no threat to Europe, as Catalonia is basically one big famous city surrounded by other smaller villages.
No, its ver dangerous to Europe and a greater threat to misstreat Catalonia but welcome muslim reffuggees like they did. Europe will rebel against this lie and will lost its human right and democratic reputation forever. All islamophobic european countries will rebel and will use the mistreated catalans to show european inmorality and break all the faith in big countries leading Europe. If Europe focus on unity and stability, will have greater consequences to Europe. The only good way for Europe is accept the previous european citizens intantly under a new country name. Like the half of Europe are little countries, even smaller than Catalonia (7,523,000).
Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic and Polland would side with small countries. because they had penalty fee from Brussels for being forced to welcome EU foreigner muslim reffuggees. What lie of fake morality is to accept reffugges but not instantly accept europeans? this would break faith and obedience on Brusells forever.
There is no way small countries will accept the selfish unity and stability of big countries while treathening small by forcing them on accepting muslim reffuggess and mistreating catalans (previous europeans) because they are a small country. Mistreating catalans would have a greater impact on Europe.
Have they now? How is the industry of Catalonia going to cope with having to manufacture pretty much everything by itself until it gets deals in places with an unfriendly Europe and neighbour Spain? How will business be handled if they are currently owned by Spanish citizens? Will Catalonia simply nationalize everything? Or buy off the Spanish? How will all the bureaucracy be handled? And more, what will happen in the inbetween years? Independence wouldn't be something that would happen in a day, a week, a month, or even a year. It would take several years to get everything done properly. What happens to citizens of both countries until then? What happens to the EU? If they simply admit Catalonia in, they'll have to do the same for other nations as well, as they were also granted independence, with the support of EU countries no less.
And more importantly, what happens if it all goes wrong? What are the plans in case a separation results in the economy of Catalonia breaking down, in tourists no longer visiting thanks to instability, if the industry can't compete with others, what happens then?
Catalonia will pretend to inherit their spanish treaties on european membership and internationally by default, this will be the catalan law. We aren't going to accept how we should be from outside. We will march to brussels and do tours all along europe to explain what we did and how this can help others by accepting recognization of catalan laws, and accept more democracy and welcome our wish of continuity as european citizenships. Internationally we will be very active to ensure other countries see this like an opportunity for a more direct democracy on future european crisis. We will polarize everything to help us to be the leading and most innovative democracy on Europe. That's going to be unstoppable.
If you think catalans are bad on planning you dont know catalans. Catalan think tanks have been working for years doing lots of good plans for everything except on the case of prolonged violence. Catalonia is not violent, but violence would be rejected internationally. If we speak of prolonged violence this would be mass murdering and genocide made by Spain on catalans. I dont think this happens. I think many countries would send their army to protect catalans if this crazy scenario happens. Europe would break.
Generally, Europe will have consequences if misstreats Catalonia for the big countries selfish interest. Like I said small countries have been forced to accept things in the name of human rights or a moral superiority of inclusive policies, this would break all the faith and good reputation of Europe.