Transcript

Catalonia Independence

CATALONIA INDEPENDENCE IN FOCUS Debating Europe 1931 1979 1939 - 1975 2012 Spain becomes a republic and an autonomous Catalan regional government, the Generalitat, is created Franco dictatorship brings suppression of political opposition as well as Catalan autonomy, language and culture Catalonia is given a statute of autonomy and is recog- nised as a "nationality"; Catalan becomes the joint official language of Catalonia with Spanish Some 1.5m people take part in Catalonia's annual independence rally in Barcelona AGAINST FOR AREA 1. CATALONIA IS NOT SPAIN Catalans don't dance flamenco and they've banned bullfighting as cruel and barbaric. They are part of a distinct, proud nation with its own language, history, culture and flag, and that separate identity has survived Franco's brutal attempts to suppress the Catalan lan- guage in the decades after the Civil War. Supporters of independence argue that their language and culture is not sufficiently respected by the Spanish central government, and they worry that, unless something is done, 1. BALKANISATION 32.107 OF EUROPE km2 We risk opening Pandora's box if Catalonia becomes independent. Nationalists in Scot- land, Flanders, Padania, Madeira, Bavaria, Scania and elsewhere are also all clamouring for independence (and that's just in Western Europe!). Europe could end up split into a mosaic of squabbling, ever-diminishing 504.782 km2 micro-states. At a time of profound crisis and mounting populist nationalism, the rush to breakaway could create CATALAN LANGUAGE dangerous potential for conflict. 11.5 their culture will million be absorbed. speakers català 2. SELFISH NATIONALISM 2. UNEQUAL PARTNERSHIP Catalonia receives billions from EU Every year, Catalans are forced to contribute €17 billion of their hard-earned taxes to the Spanish government's coffers in Madrid. Those demands have pushed Catalonia into debt and left a wealthy country struggling to provide basic services for its own people. The refusal of the Madrid government to grant Catalonia even the fiscal autonomy enjoyed by the Basque Country shows that, according to this argument, only through independence will Barcelona be able to take control of its structural funds, and the regional GDP per capita (M€, 2011) government is in debt to the tune of €42 billion, creating the possibility of an independent Catalonia being forced to apply to the EU's bail-out mechanism. In this crisis, Europe needs solidarity, 27.430 25.200 23.100 not selfish economic nationalism. If Catalonia refuses to support less prosper- ous regions of Spain, why should the rest of Europe help Catalonia save its banks or finance its growing pension bill? Is now the right moment to add the costs of armed forces, diplomatic service and all the other trappings of independence to the tax bill? And on top of all that, Catalonia will have to cope with finances and its economic future. The split can be smooth and there is no reason why the Catalan Republic cannot remain in the European Union, euro-area and Schengen zone. DEBT 42M$ economic chaos and an exodus Madrid of spooked foreign investors while they wait to re-apply for membership of the European Union, the euro-zone and the EU's single market. EXPORTS 3. NOT SO DIFFERENT 3. THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE In the first quarter of 2012 Catalonia exported: Catalans undeniably have their own distinct culture, but they also have much in common with the rest of Spain (perhaps more than they would care to admit!) – from late-night dining and a passion for football to a cool modern counter-culture. There is now a clear majority of Catalans who want independence – up to 57% in some polls. It would be undemocratic not to let them exercise their right to self-determination. The Catalan people have clearly rejected attempts by the government in Madrid to roll back the autonomy which Catalonia has gained since the death of Franco in 1975. Barcelona benefits enormously from the cultural interplay with Madrid, and critics argue that isolated monoculturalism would dull its creative edge. 45.6 % to Spain 54.4 % to the world Catalans do not want to live in a centralised Spanish state under a monarchy for whom they have little affection. The time has come for the Catalans, Scots, Flemish and other peoples of Europe to choose the state they want to live in. Exporting regions in Spain in 2011: CATALONIA: 25.9% MADRID: 11.4% ANDALUSIA: 10.7% BASQUE COUNTRY: 9.8 % VALENCIA: 9.3 % Source: Idescat, Cordis, Generalitat de Catalunya EU-27: SPAIN: CATALONIA:

Catalonia Independence

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The infographic presents key milestones in the history of Catalonia as well as arguments for and against Catalonia’s independence. The arguments cover issues such as balkanisation of Europe, economi...

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