People wave Esteladas (Catalan separatist flag) during a gathering to protest against the imprisonment of leaders of two of the largest Catalan separatist organizations, Catalan National Assembly's Jordi Sanchez and Omnium's Jordi Cuixart, who were jailed by Spain's High Court, in Barcelona, Spain October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

The Catalan crisis has sent shockwaves through Spain and Europe, with the stakes high for the country and the continent. But what is driving the key players on each side of the independence tug-of-war? ‘Insiders’ got a unique insight into the turbulent events surrounding the October 1 referendum, deemed illegal by Spain’s Constitutional Court, in which Catalan voters backed a breakaway from Madrid.

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