The Catalan Referendum


Independence rally in Catalonia

Just weeks after a historic independence referendum in an autonomous region of Spain – Catalonia – the government has decided to impose unprecedented rule over the area.

What has been an autonomous, or generally self-running region of Spain is now the hotbed for a deep political crisis. On October 1st, 43% of the people of Catalonia, Spain turned out for a vote to decide whether or not they wanted independence from their mother country. 90% of those who voted were in favor of secession.

Although many in Catalonia want to be independent, those opposed to independence boycotted the vote, making the results one-sided. Although exact numbers are unknown, at least 35% of the population is opposed to independence.

The vote has caused many people to wonder what is going to come next. Currently the Spanish government has declared the vote void due to the indivisible property of the nation of Spain, but many including Catalan’s leaders say that the vote is legal and that the region will begin work to start negotiations with the national government.

The regional government is fighting for independence because although Catalonia creates about 19% of the total GDP for the nation they only get about 5% of that back in their budget. The problems are not just economic, though. By and large the people of Catalonia feel different from the rest of Spain. They speak different languages, eat different food, and root for different sports teams.

Much is still unknown about what will happen next in Catalonia. Hopefully the governments will be able to resolve their issues peacefully, and avoid an internal crisis in an already fragile world.