It's not enough that the Catalans organise votes on independence without asking permission, now they are even considering the prohibition of bullfighting! It's possible that the acceptance yesterday by the Catalan parliament of a popular initiative to put an end to the bloodsport has caused even more heart problems in the higher barrios of Madrid than last week's independence 'consultations'. "La fiesta nacional" is under threat, and the right-wing consensus seems to be that they are only doing it to provoke Spain, El Mundo claimed on its front page this morning that the purpose of the vote was to distance Cataluña from the rest of the country.
Yesterday's vote was actually quite close, and was just a preliminary to the main vote which will take place in a few months time. The bull fighting industry is preparing itself for battle, despite all the rhetoric about the Catalans the reality is that the sport faces growing opposition in many parts of the country, and home grown opposition to it has grown significantly in the last few years. It moves a lot of money, and attracts a lot of spending from municipalities for their annual fiestas, but for many younger Spaniards it is a relic from another age and what probably worries the industry most is the risk of contagion if Cataluña sets the example. Nobody should imagine bullfighting is about to disappear, but we could be witnessing the first clear signals of decline.