Carles Puigdemont, the region’s leader, has decided to call a referendum of independence for Catalonia, despite the Spanish government based in Madrid, previously rejecting the idea.
Catalonia’s famous “Arco de Triunfo”
The voting will be held on the 1st of October, when Catalan voters will answer the question “Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a republic?”
Currently Spain is a constitutional monarchy, and Catalonia is one of its wealthiest regions. The call independence comes after many years of turbulent relationships between Catalonia and other areas of Spain over spending and laws.
Catalonia is one of the regions with the highest economic contribution to the country, giving 8% of its annual GDP to infrastructures and services in the rest of Spain. Their regional political parties believe that Catalonia will only become stronger if it separates from Spain and concentrates on investing more into the region.
The Spanish government has repeatedly stressed its concern over the matter, and said that it would violate the constitution if there were a secession. Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, Spain’s deputy prime minister, has said; “They can announce a referendum as many times as they want and put it back as many weeks as they want, and hold as many events as they want, but the referendum is not going to take place.”
Although most Catalans favour having a referendum, surveys suggest that the majority would vote to remain in Spain. Reports from March 2017 suggest 48.5% oppose a secession in Catalonia, while 44.3 support breaking away from Spain. With the numbers this close, it could go either way.
And now with the current U.K. election, Brexit and possible independence for Catalonia, the EU has seen growing instability in the economy, various job sectors, tourism as well as relationships between countries. However, towards the end of 2017, it is said that solutions for these topics should be clearer and plans should be well underway.