Catalonia fight for independence explained

What is going on in Catalonia? Why do some Catalans want independence? How did we even get here? All of your questions answered on the referendum being held in Catalonia on Sunday

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    • Bart De Leeuw What an economic and political disaster, forced by a noisy minority on a silent majority. So next we will have Galicia, Balearics, Euskadi, Sudtirol, Corsica, Aosta, a whole list of Italian city states, Bavaria, Brittany, London, French Basque Country, French Catalonia, Flanders, the Belgian Ostkantons, parts of Alsace and Lorraine, Silesia, Transylvania, Dalmatia, Istria, Slavonia, Vojvodina,...declaring independence, and we are back to the dark days from Europe which caused both World Wars...
    • Eduardo Sanjuán Arias Just like that we have arrived at the greatest attack to spanish democracy since 23-F. It is all kinds of abhorrent that a group that represents 48% of the Catalan people has sentenced both Catalonia and the rest of Spain to a period of social and economical turmoil. This farce created to hide the financial incompetence of the Catalan nationalist parties has reached critical mass and stomped the dignity of all of us Spaniards. What has happened today in Catalonia proves that the true fascists were the ones that shielded themselves with their citizens while nonchalantly breaking not only the Spanish Law but also their own laws. Referendums with rules changed 45 minutes before and without any control, laws approved at 2AM with no opposition to fight them and a parliament closed to all needs of the catalan people except for the one that has been rammed inside the heads of everyone. Independence. What now has to be done is what any other democracy in the world would do, make sure that the rule of law still protects the rights of all citizens regardless of their ideology and care for the safety of the people of Catalonia both unionists and independentists (the current government of Catalonia cared for the safety of neither). Let's all hope this political tragicomedy does not become a full catalan tragedy.
    • Sócrates Vouros A clear coup d'etat, it is very lamentable that the Economist is supporting such activities against principally one EU member state (Spain) & secondarily two other sovereign states (France & Italy). As AfD is deplorable so are the independistas - "purity of race", the "others are lazy/corrupt/thieves", no guaranties of any democratic process, coup d'etat, against even the Estatut of the catalan parliament which demands 2/3 majority for issues like these. A farce to democracy & an affront to what EU means. Spain has every right to defend her land against any invaders or those who undermine her sovereignty!
    • Javier Romero Dominguez-Roqueta This reminds me of the referendum by the syriza party in Greece against the austerity measures. Exultant celebrations followed after syriza won. A week later the country had to approve a rescue package even more stringent than the one it was proposed before the vote. And in the Catalonian case a resounding minority is the one telling everyone what to do, ignoring the rest of the region.
    • Eva Lorente Lopez Women's vote was illegal..At last Catalonia is free from attacks and repression that has had to endure for centuries . In a peaceful referendum voters had to suffer the aggression, violence and sexual abuse from Spanish police and the result was majority for independence.This gives you the real picture of what it has been like for many centuries of repression and imprisonments. Visca la Republica Catalana!
    • Antonio Pareja The independent parties declare unilaterally independence with the opposition missing from Parliament and only 70 votes. The slightest amendment of the Catalan statute requires at least 76. Is this legitimate? Only in the eyes of those who think that 2.5 people out of 7 million Catalans (let alone out of 47 million Spanish people) may decide for them all.
    • Pol Daurella Very disappointed on this synthesis made by the Economist. Many studies have been done around the tax gap, and it is mainly recognised that it is between 12-16bn of € (5-8% of GDP) . The video does not talk about the query of not respeting the principle of ordinality in tax distribution, meaning that Catalonia (and other regions in Spain) end up worse in average resources by person than regions that clearly bring less resources. We are all in favour of solidarity among regions, but not to end worse than the regions you are contribuiting with. Also, the Economist says the independents represent 48% of the votes in the last elections, but they miss "En comú podem", a party with a mixture of independentists and non independentists in favour of having a referendum that represents 12% of the votes. And many other things could be precised, such as the language, where Catalonia's government has always stated they want to make sure just that all people can speak and understand catalan after school, there has never been an aim to reduce Spanish, moreover, the Spanish government has stated via its minister of education that there is a need of "making more Spanish the catalan kids" . Thanks to this minister and that government (current one with Rajoy), a law has been stated in Catalonia where a the parents can ask to the public education for their kids to just have education in Spanish and not Catalan, breaking a peaceful coexistense of the two languages that has never been a problem in the region (recognised by both independentists and non independentists). Not saying that all the matter is crystal clear and that the non agreed independence is a good solution, but we need to be more neutral in journalism when explaining things, specially from a newspaper mainly oriented to people that do not leave in Catalonia, do not have a lot of information and a video such as this will completely conditonate their opinion. Cheers.
    • Ramsés Llobet Bentarif Litttle bit biased, no? Catalan is not the first language spoken by the 71% of people in the region. Spanish is the highest first lenguage used (atention, let's make a difference between first lenguage used and people who learn it). Second, the % of supporters of independet catalonia (from the monthly surveys) has variate from 48 to 52%. It is truth that in the 2015 elections it was sonething between 48-49% but that has two points to have in mind: first, it only accounts votes to direct political parties supporters, there are voters who may vote in a referendum but not to a political party (same for denied and white votes); and second, that 48-49% votes straight independentist parties does not mean that the rest of 51-52% wants to stay as we are. This is a misleading interpretation of the catalan reality where that people party (mr.Albiol) and what he represents only obtain less than 300.000 votes. This is less of the 8%. I love the economist, there are excellent analyst. But you could have done a more precise/objective video.

    • Bei Plus Dativ So then bye bye Real Madrid - Barcelona matches, now Barça will have to play with other regional (or should I say "national") teams. Bye bye Erasmus exchanges for students around Europe. Bye bye to trade agreements provided by the European Union. Bye bye to the possibility of moving around Europe freely, without the need for any Visa. Bye bye to Euros, (think now about a new currency!). Bye bye companies that are leaving Catalonia non-stop since all this started (Sabadell Bank, Caixa Bank, Bimbo and many others that are moving its headquarters to other Spanish cities)... Anyway I think the referendum should have been legal. A referendum with guarantees, in which all people in Catalonia could vote (not only supporters of independence). If then the majority says yes, then it's the people's decision. But we cannot trust on this result knowing that only a part of the population voted. That's is not true democracy.
    • Clabel Ann Alingalan Mattheus Thats is very correct! They pretend to be the victims of injustices, where infact they are intiators of unjust and illegal activities. They put the legal and by laws in their very own hands. They are shouting to freed the 2 Jordis as political prisoners, wherein fact the 2 Jordis are the one involved in destroying of Police Cars which is public property by own nature! Be Mature, Cataláns cannot claim and shout to the whole that they are not belong to Spain, because they are all Spanish Cards and Passports holders😘 the totality of these mess the Whole world shouting infront of their face that didn't recognized their aggressiveness! This is very opposite of what the ex-President and vice President of Catalans that upon proclaiming Independence they will have seat/space in European Union. Now, the clear anwer is even the Ono and Otan won't recognized Catalan. Hope Catalans gonna awake for the False promises initiated by the CUP and JunsxSI. Because in the end of the day, this is all Politically motivated of some Irresponsible political leaders, whose knowledge is to shout out in the Street! We believe that majority of Catalans are having a huge heart and mind to maintain peace and unity, together with the rest of Spanish Community!!!
    • Ivan Alejandro After years asking for a legal referendum on independence which is wanted by the big majority of Catalans, and after years of being denied by the Spanish government, there were only two options: Either (1) go home, and do nothing, or (2) do what they have done. Both are perfectly legitimate. Especially when facing a corrupted and aggresive party as the one governing Spain.

    • Jairo Regader This is exactly what millions of Catalans think too. We're a completely divided society now after all this process. As a non independentist Catalan, I respect every point of view, just like I want to be respected in the same way. But don't play down the other let's say half of Catalans (if not more) who don't want to be taken out from their country (Spain) the way the Catalan government have been doing during all these last years. Thank you The Guardian to give voice to every point of view of this situation.
    • Jairo Regader I didn't vote because that was a referendum not agreed with Spain, a referendum organized and promoted just by the independentist parties and organizations with massive pro-independence campaing (so not impartial at all), and a referendum whith no guarrantees which pretendend to break unilaterally from Spain. Which pretended to declare the independence whithout a clear independentist majority, what would leave a completely divided society (more than we are now). That's why neither me nor almost all the non independentist society voted in that referendum. It was a referendum for independentist made and organized by independentists. And note that I'm giving my point of view with all the respect for those who voted, and completely condemning that police violence used the 1st of october. The Spanish government has made lots and lots of mistakes, and hacve created thousands of new independentists. But Spain, as a country, is not just the current govermnment that we have, which I never supported and never will.
    • Frank Ament Nohose Jessica Hael you know that the unionist parties could have taken part of the organisation of the Referendum. They were invited to be part of the comissions that were created to start working with the Referendum draft.They were imcluded from the very beginning but they decided to go to the Constitutional Court and to boicott the Referendum. With this attitude what can we expect from them?
    • Stewart Kingsley Juan Camilo If you and every pro-unity Catalan voted in the referendum then either this situation would have been avoided (assuming you were the majority), or maybe you would see that there is definitely a problem that needs to be addressed. Not by sowing division like Rajoy, but by rational discourse by the government to repair the divisions like a responsible country leadership should. Kirsty Marie Jairo Regader whilst I do agree that this drive for independence is for bad reasons and doesn't represent the majority of Catalonians, if you don't bother voting then do you really care that much? You had your chance to show your opinion but chose to stay at home. To me that is a really poor effort.
    • Charles Wilson If Spain, the country you love, respected your opinion as a unionist, then a state-supported referendum would have happened, and you wouldn't be in this position because there would be a clear result. But, Spain could not care about your opinion any more than it does the independentist view. And, that is surely enough to convince you that you are not a valued member of Spanish society.