"El Setge" is an article written by Manuel Cuyàs and published in the Catalan-language daily newspaper "El Punt Avui" on April 15th: http://www.elpuntavui.cat/noticia/article/7-vista/8-articles/528207.html
Unbeknown to the author, who will I hope be indulgent, I have made a hasty translation of the artricle, in the hope that English readers may know the opinion of a highly reputable and respected Catalan journalist, about what is going on in Spain.
Here it is:
Someone I trust and who knows things tells me: Don't think that Madrid observes quietly and without concern the proindependence statements of Catalonia. They are taken more seriously than we believe that I can assure you that there are drawers with dossiers that compromise the good name of some Catalan leaders in various fields. Whether or not the dossiers contain information that is true, false or intentionally inflated is not relevant. The point is that the drawers are waiting for the order or the right time to be moved to the printed or electronic word, with the intention of making noise, of smearing and of hurting.
Without knowing anything about dossiers, I already thought that the possible independence of Catalonia does cause much concern in Spain, in particular the current government, which in this issue is no different than the government displaced in the last general election. Artur Mas relies on a fiscal agreement that will significantly improve the Catalan coffer. Let us not be deceived: there will be no agreement, just as they will not pay their overdue debts. The State machinery will never give us money that could be used to pay or subsidize independence. That's how seriously they take it, that's how afraid they are, that's how possible they think it is.
Observe the evolution of railway communications. Everyone who know how to add and calculate says that building the Mediterranean corridor should be a priority, and yet the Spanish government wants to join Madrid with France by drilling through the Pyrenees in Aragon. It doesn'r seem to make sense, but it does: Spain will not build a line that passes through a territory that tomorrow may be a foreign country. They aren't building it for the neighbors to enjoy it. That's how seriously they take it.
The Convergència party congress [the governing party] spoke of the right to have a state so as not to talk of independence, which seemed too strong, and the State found it so strong anyway that it is barring our independence not with a fiscal agreement but with a hunger agreement. So either we do what we have to, however difficult it seems, or we shall remain imprisoned in a vicious circle which, rather than a circle, is really a siege.