It’s long been known that some people in Catalonia would like independence from Spain. What’s been surprising this week, though, is how many people that may just be. According to official figures. one and a half million people came out to march in Barcelona yesterday in support of independence from Spain.
The latest Catalonia march to support secession from Spain came as a direct result of a failing Spanish economy and many Catalans believing that, while they pay a huge amount of taxes into the Spanish system, what they get back in return is far less than they should. Catalonia is now also currently in the situation where they are having to ask Spain’s central government for a bailout to pay their public workers as there simply isn’t enough money in the coffers to do it themselves.
Because of this, many Catalans believe, if they were independent from Spain and were allowed to run their own country, they’d all be a lot better off.
The problem is, they may not be. The EU has already said, if Catalonia broke away from Spain it would no longer have EU membership and would have to reapply as an independent country, which may or may not be accepted. Spanish banks and businesses may also pull out of Catalonia if it seceded from Spain, as they would no longer want to chance running businesses there.
Even international businesses would be wary about operating in Catalonia. After all, they run their companies in the Catalonia region of Spain because it is part of Spain. If it suddenly became an independent country, who knows how many companies would still be left wanting to operate there.
This by no means takes away anything from the 1.5 million Catalans that marched in Barcelona yesterday. Good for them for letting their voices be heard and showing the Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy exactly what they think of him and his policies. Maybe this, at least, will make him more likely to listen.