Will Catalonia Achieve Independence?
Catalonia is one of Spain’s wealthiest regions and is therefore very important to the country’s economy. Spain relies on it to support its poorer areas but now Catalonia is looking to break away and form a smaller independent country.
The Catalonian population is tired of propping up the rest of Spain but, understandably, the Spanish Government is very much against this attempt at independence. The result is deadlock and great unrest.
Catalonia, in northeast Spain, is known for its lively beach resorts of Costa Brava as well as the Pyrenees Mountains. Barcelona, the regional capital, is a magnet for tourists and the blue and garnet shirt of its brilliant football team is probably the world’s best known.
At the beginning of the month, supporters of the breakaway claimed that 90% of Catalans voted for independence but Spanish leaders say that the vote was illegal and have rejected it. This move by the Spanish government sparked rioting and the baton-waving police have already injured hundreds of Catalans.
The region has been part of Spain since the 16th century and today its 7.6 million people represent 16% of Spain’s population. With so many people seeking independence, it will be a tough task for the Spanish government to regain full control although this is what they seem to be attempting.
Prime minister Mariano Rajoy has asked for two months to decide whether he will let the vote be back on or not. With 90% of voters wanting independence the road ahead is sure to be a rocky one.
Danielle and Sophie, Year 6