SCOTTISH Nationalists could be forgiven for cursing fate this week.
Both Ireland and the autonomous Spanish region of Catalonia, the two most admired constitutional role models for a post-union Scotland, are sinking under the weight of their debts. Today, Ireland's voters are expected to vote reluctantly for an EU financial austerity package that could condemn them to economic depression for a decade or more. Meanwhile, the Catalonian President, Artur Mas, says Catalonia may "not be able to pay its bills at the end of the month". The region has already restored prescription charges, introduced tourism and fuel taxes and cut spending on infrastructure projects.
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