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Reporter. Writer. Radio and multimedia producer  | Currently in Lisbon, Portugal  | Updating...

Alex Ros

In Catalan family’s debate, an intimate view of independence saga

Alex Ros is a burly, born-and-bred Catalan, a dyed-in-the-wool supporter of Catalonian independence from Spain.

Which sets him at odds with his wife, Cristina Garcia, a delicate woman in a black silk blouse, who was brought up in the Spanish heartland of Castile and says she “cannot imagine” backing secession.

“He never thinks I’m right on the topic,” she says with a sigh.

And that makes them a pretty typical couple in today’s sharply divided Catalonia. Discussing their differences over a pre-dinner drink, though, it turns out that they agree on quite a lot as well.

Their good-natured banter, as they sit in the comfortable, high-ceilinged living room of their apartment in central Barcelona, illustrates the complexity and nuances of the political situation that the separatist Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont faces as he wrestles with Spain’s central government in Madrid.

Mr. Ros is a middle-aged manager of tourist rental apartments in Barcelona, a Mediterranean mecca for visitors. His wife, Cristina, is a translator. They have opposite goals, but they both take pride in being modern and moderate.

And both of them are relieved that President Puigdemont stepped back on Tuesday evening from the unequivocal unilateral declaration of independence that he had pledged to make.

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