The Issue of Catalan Independence
The northeastern region of Catalonia in Spain will be having a referendum on whether to secede from Spain, or stay with their country. The main issue being that the “autonomous” communities within Spain aren’t allowed to secede on their own volition. But with the (remotely) possible independence of the country were to happen, the political, social, and economic landscapes would be dramatically rewritten.
To a layman, the country of Spain is just that: A country. But in technical terms, it’s a region of “autonomous communities”, meaning that the 17 regions (and two cities) that make up what is known as Spain are self governing: From Castile & León all the way to Ceuta. The region known as Catalonia (Or Catalunya in Catalan) is one of the autonomous communities, with the largest city being Barcelona.
The move for independence was called by a referendum in the Catalan parliament, but was deemed illegal by both the high parliament in Madrid and Spanish constitution itself. The main claim for Catalan separatists is something called a call for “self-determination” with is for colonial nations that wish to become free in layman’s terms. But as can be easily seen, Catalonia is itself not a colonial nation, so the claim to self determination falls rather short. Not only is the claim in Spain’s court, but it also violates terms for the European Union. Upon the supposed “independence” Catalonia would have to traverse a myriad of legal and political loopholes that would complicate an already messy (and frankly, impossible endeavour).
But theoretically, the independence of Catalonia would, firstly, have major political and economic repercussions in Spain itself. Catalonia makes up 16-18% of Spain’s GDP, as well as having a fairly large population itself, so economically Catalonia could be stable.
But the social implications would be dramatic. Spain may not take the divorce well, and refuse to trade with Catalonia, or possibly worse. An embargo could ensue. But this is only theoretical.
In short. The independence referendum in Catalonia is not only illegal, but it also would have serious economic implications for Spain itself, but also for other independence movements in the future.
“Autonomous regions in Spain | spain.Info USA.” Spain.info, www.spain.info/en_US/consultas/ciudades-y-pueblos/comunidades-autonomas.html. Accessed 26 Sept. 2017.
Vidal-Folch, Xavier, et al. “EL PAÍS analyzes 10 claims commonly made by separatists to support their cause.” EL PAÍS, Síguenos en Síguenos en Twitter Síguenos en Facebook Síguenos en Twitter Síguenos en Instagram, 26 Sept. 2017, elpais.com/elpais/2017/09/25/inenglish/1506339116_980655.html. Accessed 26 Sept. 2017.“Why the referendum on Catalan independence is illegal.” The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, 26 Sept. 2017, www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2017/09/economist-explains-17?zid=307&ah=5e80419d1bc9821ebe173f4f0f060a07. Accessed 26 Sept. 2017.