Catalonian independence has been a major issue in Europe in the past few months. People all throughout Spain have been at odds over the debate on whether Catalonia should be able to secede from the country. This divisive issue has been rooted in two major problems: economics and culture.
Catalonia’s economy has been the greatest in all of Spain. They make up 20% of Spain’s GDP and account for 25% of all of Spain’s exports. This has made some of the residents and the Catalan government feel taken advantage of according to CNN. Catalonia receives less in aid than they give to the Spanish government, leading them to experience consistent deficit. Catalonia believes that by freeing themselves from Spain they will instead be experiencing a surplus of money.
Opposition to Catalonian independence say that a split from Spain will not result in an economic surplus. They believe that by leaving Spain, Catalonia will fall apart economically. According to NPR, as Catalonia’s referendum passed for freedom, many major Spanish businesses moved their headquarters from Barcelona, the proposed capital for Catalonia, to Madrid. This uncertainty and draining of resources could cause an economic failure of the Catalan government.
Leaving Spain would also negatively impact Catalonian trade. As with Scotland, if a country breaks away from a European Union member, they lose their EU status. This means that Catalonia would have to apply for membership, which would most likely fail due to other countries looking to curb secessionist movements and Spain blocking them.
Catalonian secession also would force them to either make their own currency or continue to use the Euro without a representative in the European bank.
The culture of Catalonia also sets them apart and creates friction between the rest of Spain. They have had a long history of autonomy and maintain their own cultural traditions and language. This gives Catalonia an edge on their cries for freedom. Spain has recently attempted to curb Catalonian autonomy, which has created much of the dissidence that is present.
With movements like Catalan independence heating up, the world stage has become increasingly uncertain. What happens to Catalonia could become a precedent for other nations like Scotland, Bavaria, Gascony, and Kurdistan, who all seek cultural independence.