Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Monday, 4 june 2012 | LSE


Recommended article: "The rise of secessionism in Catalonia has emerged out of the will to decide the region’s political destiny as a nation" by Montserrat Guibernau

(Recommended article: "The rise of secessionism in Catalonia has emerged out of the will to decide the region’s political destiny as a nation" by Montserrat Guibernau. Published at the LSE's European Politics and Policy website.)

Will Catalonia secede from Spain? Montserrat Guibernau explores why many Catalonians now hope that it might. She argues that Catalonia’s subsidization of less affluent regions, which leaves the region worse off, is a major root of discontent.

With 23% unemployment (rising to 40% among young people), the deepening of the economic crisis is hitting Catalans hard. Resentment against the Spanish government’s economic policies and dissatisfaction with politics prevail: In the Catalan society, those who are ‘dissatisfied with democracy’ rose to 49% in March. Catalonia, a traditionally prosperous region, sees its wealth and status downgraded as it looses competitiveness and lacks resources and saving for infrastructure while accumulating annual deficit of 8% of GDP due to the financial arrangements imposed by the Spanish state. In this context, support for Catalan fiscal autonomy (Pacte Fiscal) is rising fast and secession, for the first time in Catalan history, appears as a legitimate option.

Catalan nationalism emerged in the 1960s as a progressive social movement defending democracy and freedom against Franco’s dictatorship, demanding a Statute of autonomy for Catalonia and amnesty for the regime’s political prisoners. Franco’s death in 1975 allowed a transition to democracy led by members of his own regime. Catalonia played a key role in the democratization of Spain by strongly supporting EU membership; providing economic and industrial leadership and being committed to solidarity towards Spain. Vitally, Catalan nationalism was instrumental in overcoming the 1993 crisis and strongly supported Spain to fulfil the conditions to join the Euro. However, it was felt by many that Catalan loyalty and support did not pay off as Spain reinforced centralism.

(You can read the rest of the article by clicking here)

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Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Col·lectiu Emma is a network of Catalans and non-Catalans living in different countries who have made it their job to track and review news reports about Catalonia in the international media. Our goal is to ensure that the world's public opinion gets a fair picture of the country's reality today and in history.

We aim to be recognized as a trustworthy source of information and ideas about Catalonia from a Catalan point of view.
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Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia