As Spain and Catalonia head toward a constitutional collision over the region's claim to independence, lawmakers on both sides of the crisis are pointing to a way out: north, to Basque Country.

Among the verdant mountains of Basque Country, which borders France, a once-violent campaign for independence has petered out, with generous fiscal autonomy from Madrid helping to keep popular agitation for independence in check.

"We don't have that economic resentment," Aitor Esteban, organizer for the Basque National Party in Spain's parliament, said in an interview at party headquarters in Bilbao.