The Struggle for Independence
The independentisme català, as it has been passionately called, is a political movement that seeks independence from the Kingdom of Spain. The movement began in 1922 when Francesc Macià founded the Catalan state. After a series of events and negotiations, Macià accepted autonomy of the Catalan Republic into the Spanish Republic. Their autonomy was abolished in 1938 when Spanish General, Francisco Franco abolished it during the Spanish Civil War. Since then, the Catalans, have been fighting first for autonomy and now for independence.
The European Commissioner President Jean-Claude Juncker has stated in recent news that he will not back the Catalan Independence because he does not want others to follow suit and follow their path. With the United Kingdom already initiating their own leaving of the European Union, it is not surprise that he does not want the same thing to happen again with Spain.
On October 1, 2017 Catalonia held a disputed referendum that was eventually declared invalid by Spain’s top court, the Tribunal Supremo. The turnout was fair at 43%. Of the 43% that voted, almost 90% were in favor of independence. Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont signed a symbolic declaration of independence, and is now seeking talks with Spain’s Head of State.
What Happens If They Call For Independence?
In talks with Madrid, Carles Puigdemont has until Monday to decide if he is declaring independence from Spain. If he does decide to do this, he will have 3 days to withdraw his declaration. However, if he does not withdraw his declaration, Madrid has threatened to invoke Article 155 of the constitution, which would suspend Catalan autonomy, and they will then have direct rule.
Most analysts believe that he will not back down from the fight being that they are quite close to their independence.
The Final Ultimatum
Catalonia does have some issues it would need to figure out before making their final decision next week. If they do decide to continue on for the struggle for independence, they will be politically ostracized by other nations, who most likely will not recognize them as a country. Numerous business has already said that if this happens, they will relocate out of the region.
The biggest question of this now, is how Article 155 will affect those living in Catalonia? They have already felt oppressed, so now the need for independence will be even more prevalent for the people of the land. Whatever the outcome is, Catalonia and Carles Puigdemont have less than a week to make a final decision.