Related on TestTube
How Powerful Is Spain?
What Regions Want to Form Independent Countries?
In late September, regional elections were held in Catalonia-a region of Spain where a separatist movement is stronger than ever. Pro-Catalonia parties won an absolute majority in the 135-seat regional assembly, according to BBC News.
The push for an independent Catalonia has been growing in recent years. Catalan leader ARtur Mas has spoken of establishing the foundational institutions needed for an independent state, including a central bank, diplomatic service, tax authority, and a military. That last one is particularly important, if Catalonia hopes to achieve true independence. Currently, all troops serving in Catalonia are beholden to Spain's national military force.
Although Catalonia lacks a standing military force, it's a hub of Spain's economic activity. Barcelona, Spain's second largest city after Madrid has a thriving economy based on food and beverage production, chemical manufacturing, biopharmaceuticals, medical technology, and tourism. Over the years, Spain has attracted international visitors for its architecture, art, and museums.
Spain has a national general election toward the end of the year. As of now, there's no clear majority winner being predicated among the parties. For his part, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said there will be no independent Catalonia. "There will be no Catalan independence, and Catalonia is not going to leave Spain or Europe, even though this is what's being offered to citizens there right now." Rajoy has instead proposed that Spain hold a national referendum on the matter, but Catalan leaders disagree and say they have the right to self-determination.
Catalonia profile - Overview (bbc.com)
"Proud of its own identity and language, Catalonia is one of Spain's richest and most highly industrialised regions, and also one of the most independent-minded."
Catalonia vote: Pro-independence parties win elections (bbc.com)
"Pro-independence parties in Spain's Catalonia region have won an absolute majority in regional elections. The main separatist alliance and a smaller nationalist party won 72 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament."
What's next for Catalonia, the Spanish region that wants to be Europe's next nation (washingtonpost.com)
"The region is the wealthiest in Spain and has its own distinct cultural and political history, as well as longstanding grievances over various iterations of rule from Madrid."