For the past few weeks, there have been increasing tensions in Spain and Catalonia, as a confusing battle between independence and unity takes place. For those outside of the area, it appears to be very confusing. Fortunately, we’ve put together this brief article that helps to explain just what is going on in Spain. This can bring you totally up to date with what has happened in the last few weeks – and also provides a potential future outlook for the nation.
What is Catalonia?
Catalonia is a region of Spain, located in the North-east of the country. The region has its own flag, anthem and even language.
How did this begin?
While there have been tensions in the past, a major breakthrough in relations came around four weeks ago, when an illegal referendum was held in Catalonia, where citizens overwhelmingly voted for independence from Spain. However, only 43% of residents voted. The referendum was shut down by the Spanish Police. The referendum was heavily criticised by the Spanish government. For weeks, there has been an increase in tension, leading to the events from the 27th October 2017.
What Happened on 27th October?
The Catalan Parliament announced that they had voted for independence, which was passed 70-10. Therefore, they announced independence. Spain’s senate was, as expected, furious with this, and opted to declare an unprecedented move to directly rule over Catalonia. While this may seem unexpected, it is a legal move, in line with the constitution of Spain.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced that he was going to dissolve the entire Catalan Parliament – the people who took part in the vote on October 27. Rajoy suggested it was a required move to ‘recover normality’ in Catalonia. Therefore, it appears an all-new parliament will be set up, which should allow proceedings to return to the status-quo. Rajoy announced that elections for Catalonia will take place on December 21. Unity has been backed by leaders of several European countries, who are hoping for a stable Eurozone.
What now for the Catalan Parliament?
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has made an ominous warning that the Catalan parliament will respond. It is unclear so far as to whether or not any current member of the parliament will be able to stand for the December election.
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So is this the end?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear so. Judging by the unrest of the last few weeks, it doesn’t seem likely that an issue as big as this could be solved overnight. It is a case of watch this space. Unfortunately, it seems as though whatever happens, things will take a while to become stable in the region. For now, we will just have to wait and see what happens…