What hath Spain wrought? The people have spoken, and authority has responded in kind:

Felipe VI came down hard on Catalan authorities, which organised Sunday’s referendum on independence even after they had been told by Madrid they could not go ahead with a vote deemed unconstitutional.

Accusing them of “disloyalty” and being “completely on the margins of law and democracy”, the king said the state had to “ensure constitutional order”.

– ‘Declaration of hostility’ –

Ana Romero, a journalist specialising in Spain’s royal family, said that with this position, the 49-year-old sovereign made a risky bet.

“What will happen at the end of all this will determine the success or failure of his reign,” she told AFP.

Whatever happens, it may have started something. The question for the EU’s unelected bureaucrats may be not how to stop it, but how to survive it.