The Burrow

The Catalan Revolution

Kat Kaplan, Staff Writer

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Not for the first time, the autonomous region of Spain known as Catalonia is attempting to declare its independence from Spain. On Sunday, October 1st, the Catalan government held a referendum– in violation of the constitution, according to the Spanish national government– to decide whether to would remain a part of Spain or to secede. It is reported that 90% of Catalans chose to secede, although due to Spanish police raiding, barricading, and violence to halt voting, only about 43% of eligible voters were represented at the polls. The violence resulted in injury to over 800 Catalans. In light of these results– and despite warnings from Spain, France, and the EU that their declaration of independence would not be recognized– Catalonia’s President, Carles Puigdemont, has said that he will officially declare independence this Tuesday, October 10, 2017.

However, it’s clear that Spain isn’t planning to let Catalonia go without a fight; Catalonia represents a fifth of Spain’s economy and about a quarter of its tourism and exports. The Spanish government’s ruling party, headed by Prime Minister Marino Rajoy, has threatened to jail President Puigdemont as a previous Catalan separatist, Lluis Companys, was jailed in 1934. He is reported to have told German newspaper Die Welt: “We will do everything that legislation allows us to ensure this … We will prevent this independence from taking place.” In addition to the political threats from Spain, France, and the EU, two of Catalonia’s major banks, along with numerous companies, reported that in light of the crisis and potential economic detriment, they would relocate their headquarters elsewhere in Spain in order to remain under EU regulation.
In opposition to the secession, anti-independence marchers rallied in Barcelona on Sunday, chanting “Don’t be fooled, Catalonia is Spain” and flying Spanish flags. The police reports that over 350,000 people attended, though some have estimated numbers to be as high at 980,000. However, Benet Salellas said during an interview at the regional parliament: “It’s very clear to me that those who I represent won’t accept any other scenario”.

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The Catalan Revolution