With regards to each action it has taken against the expressed sovereignty of Catalonia, Spain's bad precedent casts a shadow of uncertainty over the future general stability of Europe.
Beginning with its opposition to the democratic process of a referendum by the autonomous Catalonia that realized into the beatings of Catalans attempting to exercise their democratic rights to vote in the last Autumn referendum, Spain has, in essence, condemned a non-violent democratic process.
As if the beatings of Catalans were not enough, Spain then moved to strip the region of its autonomy, to arrest and to charge Catalan leaders, with among other things, sedition, thus forcing Catalan's President Carles Puigdemont and four other leaders into exile in Belgium, over fears they would not receive a fair trial before a Madrid court. While some Catalan leaders have been released on bail, others still remain jailed in Madrid for their roles in conducting a democratic referendum.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy thought that Catalonia would purge itself of any sovereign ambitions via new elections he called for the region. Pro-Independence candidates won big in the vote in a total rebuff of Rajoy's desires.
Then earlier this week, the new Catalan Parliament elected pro-independence member Roger Torrent as its new Speaker, paving the way for pro-independence parties to control the legislature of the autonomous region.
Yet, in setting another bad precedent, as reported by the BBC-News, Rajoy has declared that Catalonia's autonomous powers will not be restored if the regional parliament permits Puigdemont to lead the government from exile.
Rajoy has clearly sent a message to any future sovereign movements in Europe that any democratic processes to establishing the will of the people will not be accepted and that any such democratic processes would be a crime. Thus, Rajoy appears to leave open violent rebellion as the only means to gaining the expressed wants of the people. A very bad precedent to set that puts the future stability of Europe at risk.
However, Spain could easily correct its wrongs by rescinding all charges of Catalonia's leaders and by setting up a commission to look into the conditions of the region that forced Catalans to sovereignty. In good faith, Rajoy should pledge to work with Catalans in order to ameliorate their grievances with a view to sustaining Spanish unity as a whole.