Give me context on the Catalonia crisis…A lot of people of the Spanish region of Catalonia (which includes Barcelona) have been wanting to separate from Spain for years. Yesterday, the Spanish Supreme Court has sentenced 9 separatist Catalan leaders to prison (from 9 to 13 years). As a result, thousands turned out in Barcelona to protest.
Btw… the court also issued a new arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont, the former president of the Catalan government who fled to Belgium in 2017.
The cause of the sentences. Sedition. They had “led the citizenry in a public and tumultuous rising”.
Two years ago (Oct 1st 2017) separatists in Spain’s Catalonia tried to break away from Spain through a referendum on independence (they asked the people whether they wanted to remain in Spain or leave).
The problem. The Spanish government and Europe said the referendum was illegal. It was carried out unilaterally without the central government’s consent. Also, it violates the Spanish democratic constitution, which gives wide autonomy to the regions but affirms “the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation”.
But..why do they want to separate from Spain?
- Economic reasons: they have the perception that Catalonia pays much more to the central government that other regions in Spain.
- Historical reasons: they have their own language, culture, and so on.
Attention! Catalan nationalism is very divided and apparently, losing steam. Support for independence is at 44%, according to The Economist.
The threat of Catalonia’s separation provoked the emergence of Vox, a far-right party that wants to end with all this nationalist shit.
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