Spain fights secession

Lizzy Snow, Staff Writer

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Catalonia, or the Catalan Region, is an autonomous community within Spanish borders. Its central government is based in Barcelona, the regional capital, instead of the Spanish capital Madrid. Culturally and economically, Catalonia is separate from Spain. Up until a few centuries ago, there was even a Catalan language.

However, despite its differences from modern day Spanish culture, the Catalan Region is considered to be the economic center of Spain. Nearly 30% of Spain’s industrial output comes from Catalonia and its 7.5 million inhabitants.

Organizations within the Catalan region that were formerly peaceful in their promotion of Catalan culture and language have radicalized, rebelling against the Madrid government and leading a pro-independence movement. An economic crisis, which started nine years ago, eroded the Catalans economic endowment to Spain. Catalonia’s middle class citizens lost their ideal of prosperous existence continuing into the present day. The Spanish economy has never recovered and the financial issues continue to linger.

The financial troubles have shifted into constitutional and annexation issues for the region.

In 2014, a separatist party called for a referendum, with Catalonia annexing from Spain. The leader of this attempted referendum, the Catalan president Artur Mas, was jailed in March 2017. On October 1, 2017 an illegal election was held for Catalan independence.

The pro-independence leaders of the new election were Jordi SA?nchez and Jordi Cuixart. The election was attacked by Spanish police who shot voters with rubber bullets. Over 893 people were injured. Violence on both sides occurred especially due to outside forces riling up the negative attitude towards one another. Jordi SA?nchez and Jordi Cuixart were jailed and charged over two weeks later on account of sedition.

Despite this, the Catalonian parliament voted to secede and become separate from Spain.

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Spain fights secession