a lot of catalans in favor of independence also stayed away because of the violenceParticipants in the referendum opted overwhelmingly for independence, but turnout was only about 43 percent as Catalans who favour remaining part of Spain mainly boycotted the ballot.
It only seems that way.Looking from the distance, since granting Catalonia the (illusory) national status and privileges by Zapatero, Madrid's politics was full of a childish passive-aggressive ressentiment (e.g. the rubber bullets used by the police to "pacify" the peaceful crowd during the referendum are banned in Catalonia after an unfortunate accident several years ago, or banning escaladas during Copa Del Rey last year). Castilians have this centuries old inferiority complex towards Catalans and a nasty temper like Poles. The situation resembles me a bit the UK and the EU: an old nation with a long political and economic tradition, led by experience and rationale, and some sleazy club party trying to impose on it their ways. No wonder it has fallen apart.