By Patrick Brogan
A referendum is expected to be approved by the Catalan Government and will be set for 1st October. This is despite the claims by the Spanish state that such a referendum is illegal and will not go ahead.
Currently, Catalan lawmakers are drawing up the framework of what an independent nation will be like. Pro-independence parties hold the majority in the parliament for the autonomous region, which is why the referendum is expected to be approved.
The independence movement had gained momentum in recent years, but this has slowed due to the Spanish economy starting to pick up again. However, many Catalans want the opportunity to vote and have their say on the future direction of the territory.
This is in stark contrast to the view in Madrid. The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, said the Government will do all in their power to stop this referendum from taking place, adding; “No one can do away with Spanish democracy.”
This follows in the wake of a number of such movements gathering popular support in Europe. A big factor is the rejection of globalisation and many countries have proposed referenda on leaving the EU, with Britain having already done so.
The situation in Catalunya is somewhat different, though. Many Catalans see themselves as different from the rest of Spain. Indeed, they have their own language and culture that go back centuries in the region. There has always been tension between Barcelona and Madrid, but this reached a new low during the Spanish Civil War and subsequent Franco regime, which many Catalans felt was trying to destroy their culture. The wounds on both sides have not fully healed. Is independence is the solution? We will have a better idea after October of this year.
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