Sunday, April 1, 2018

Catalonia hurt Spain’s image but the law must prevail: View

Laura Ballarin Cereza,

image (not from article) from

The Spain government needs to tread carefully. ... Led by Mariano Rajoy, it must try to avoid repeating the mistakes it made with the so-called referendum in October, which damaged the international image of the country. It should put enough efforts towards traditional state diplomacy to explain that Spain is a full democracy, based on the rule of law and the separation of powers. It should stress too that the detained Catalan politicians are held at the order of the judicial branch and that they will have a free, fair and transparent process.

But not only that. The Spanish government should also invest resources in public diplomacy [JB emphasis], which includes a wide range of official efforts to convince targeted sectors of foreign opinion to support or tolerate a government’s strategic objectives. I believe in public diplomacy as a tool to win “hearts and minds.” Efforts to persuade international media to portray official policies favourably to foreign audiences, will be crucial for Spain and Catalonia in the coming months, for example. ...

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