FINLAND could become the first country to recognise the independence of Catalonia after one of the country’s MPs said he would bring a motion to do so in the Helsinki parliament.

Mikko Karna said he would submit a recognition motion after tweeting a message of support.

The National:

He posted: “Congratulations to the independent Republic of Catalonia. Next week I will submit a motion to the Finnish parliament for your recognition.”

His effort was unique. Around the world, the media and politicians seemed totally flummoxed by yesterday’s extraordinary events.

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Across Europe the political reaction was split into two camps. Those countries which have independence movements inside their own borders such as the UK (Scotland), France (Brittany), and Germany (Bavaria) all sided resolutely with the Spanish government.

Only one European leader with an independence movement in his country, Belgian prime minister Charles Michel (Flanders) was diplomatic. He said: “A political crisis can only be solved through dialogue. We call for a peaceful solution with respect for national and international order.”

The United States will not recognise Catalonia as it has voiced its support for Madrid.

US State Department spokes- woman Heather Nauert said in a statement: “Catalonia is an integral part of Spain, and the United States supports the Spanish government’s constitutional measures to keep Spain strong and united.”

Nato said the independence claim was a domestic issue and should be resolved by Spain alone. An official said: “Spain is a committed ally, which makes important contributions to our shared security.

“The Catalonia issue is a domestic matter which should be resolved within Spain’s constitutional order.”

The sheer speed and significance of the developing events in Barcelona and Madrid proved once again that modern broadcasting sometimes is just not up to portraying massive upheavals in a thoughtful way.

Sky News, the BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera all seemed unable or unwilling to state just what an existential crisis this is for Spain and Europe, and their staff on the ground in Spain failed to put historical context into their coverage – mentions of Franco and Catalonia’s fight against fascism in the late 1930s were practically non-existent.

By late evening, the broadcasters were catching up, and newspaper websites were putting out analyses which in many cases came straight from the department of the bleedin’ obvious – “Spain heads for showdown”, said the Financial Times.

Mostly, however, politicians and the electronic and print media failed to recognise the seriousness of yesterday. This was a world game-changer, and very few called it so.

The inability to put matters in context was never better summed up than by Al Jazeera which, less than three hours after the declaration of independence, had on its website: “No country has expressed support for the secession bid.”

After three hours? And obviously they do not read The National.

As always, there was one group of people prepared to react – the money mob and market makers. Shares in Catalan banks fell sharply in response to the declaration of independence and then went down further when direct rule was imposed, dragging the entire stock market with them.

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CaixaBank, Spain’s third-largest lender, fell by around five per cent while Sabadell, the country’s fifth-biggest bank, fell roughly six per cent. And don’t think this doesn’t affect the UK – shares in IAG were down six per cent. Who are IAG? Only the owners of British Airways.

When the markets re-open on Monday, no-one expects stability, and there will be none of that in Catalonia and Spain for some time to come.