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Catalan Independence Movement

Catalan is going solo, find out about the Catalan Independence Movement

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Catalan Independence Movement 

Catalonia is one of Spain's wealthiest and most productive regions and has a distinct history dating back almost 1,000 years. 

Before the Spanish Civil War, it enjoyed broad autonomy but that was suppressed under Gen Francisco Franco's dictatorship from 1939-75.When Franco died, the region was granted autonomy again and the region prospered along with the rest of the new, democratic Spain. 

 The Catalan independence movement is a political movement historically derived from Catalan Nationalism, which seeks independence of Catalonia from Spain. The Estelada flag, which has a "blue" and a "red" version, has become its main symbol. 

 The modern independence movement began when the 2006 Statute(law) of Autonomy, which had been agreed with the Spanish government and passed by a referendum in Catalonia, was challenged in the Spanish High Court of Justice, which ruled that some of the articles were unconstitutional, or were to be interpreted restrictively. Popular protest against the decision quickly turned into demands for independence.2006 statute granted even greater powers, boosting Catalonia's financial clout and describing it as a "nation".

Starting with the town of Arenys de Munt, over 550 municipalities in Catalonia held symbolic referendums on independence between 2009 and 2011. The popular movement fed upwards to the politicians; a second mass protest on 11 September 2012 (the National Day of Catalonia) explicitly called on the Catalan government to begin the process towards independence. Catalan president Artur Mas called a snap general election, which resulted in a pro-independence majority for the first time in the region's history. 

On 27 October 2017 the Parliament of Catalonia approved a resolution creating an independent Republic unilaterally, by a vote considered illegal by the lawyers of the Parliament of Catalonia for violating the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Spain. Catalan is certainly, long-lived, It has its own language and distinctive traditions, and a population of 7.5 million. 

Catalonia is one of Spain's wealthiest regions, making up 16% of the national population and accounting for almost 19% of Spanish GDP. Barcelona is primarily either Catalonia's capital or Spain's second city. It has become one of the EU's best-loved city break destinations, famed for its 1992 Summer Olympics, trade fairs, football, and tourism.

1 Spain without Barcelona would be half of what it is now. Spain doesn?t want to lose power. 
 2. Accepting the exit of Catalonia, the Basque Country would follow in days. Galicia in years. All over Europe, the same would happen (Italy, Germany, France, Belgium all have regions wanting the same). 
 3. There are no profits for any side. Apart from the fact that majority of the people of Spain and Catalonia don't want the independence of that region, there are no benefits for them. Catalonians industry sells staff to the rest of the country, and as Catalonia has been in Spain 900 years you can imagine how economic links are tied. The Catalan society is becoming very fragmented as well. 
4. Most of the rest of Spain would be upset and would not agree with the decision. It is even unclear whether a majority in Catalonia agree as of today. The Spanish economy would be greatly affected since Catalonia is one of the richest regions in Spain. 

Generations of people from poorer parts of Spain have moved there for work, forming strong family bonds with regions such as Andalusia. Catalan Spaniards fear the loss of identity. In the last decade, the Catalan language grew stronger, they speak it with pride and much more are learning. Barcelona is an economic, touristic and cultural engine of Spain. Maybe economically not at the level of Madrid because many headquarters are in the capital, but in practical terms, it has the same status. It isn?t just Spain who has a say in this, if Spain allows this, the country will get punished by the EU. Spain has absolutely no incentive to do so.

Sandeep Semwal