If you've never heard of Catalonia, it's likely because the region has been considered a part of Spain for years; the Spanish government has executive control over the area that includes the influential city of Barcelona and Spain has worked hard to try and keep it that way. For the most part, this union has worked and Catalan nationalists have remained relatively quiet until recent years, when independence parties began springing up. Things came to a head when a recent election gave the current Spanish government an idea as to how Catalans really felt about their independence.
Growing Support for Catalan Independence
It appears as if there are a growing number of people in Catalonia that want to secede from Spain. Because of this, the recent election had record numbers of people come out to vote; most of whom wanted to see the secession party come to power. A majority vote for the secession party proved a major victory for proponents of Catalan independence, and the development will likely start the country on a political roller coaster ride that may end up leading to the establishment of an independent Catalonia. Those who are now in power claim that they will do everything that they can to make sure that votes for Catalan independence pass and that there is as little hassle as possible along the way.
How is this going to work? According to the secession party, the number of voters who came out for the recent election need to be present when it comes to dealing with a deciding vote for Catalan autonomy. If that happens, the micro-nation will likely be independent by 2017 at the latest. This is a big step for secessionists to take, and it will be interesting to see how the change might affect the rest of the Euro-zone. Will as many people be passionate about actually seceding as they were about coming out to get the party in power in the first place?
The Test and Trials of Sovereignty for Catalonia
If Catalonia secedes, they have a big journey ahead of them, including the need to establish a military, put together a Constitution, and a number of other tasks that need to be done so that the country can officially be considered sovereign. This will take quite a bit of time to be completed, but according to many of the people who are pro-independence, they are willing to work and be patient in waiting for something that they have desired for such a long time.
How much of a difference would this make in the world of travel? That's a big question that a lot of people are asking, and only time will tell what may happen in the future. If you've been planning a trip to Spain, be sure to keep an eye on current events in Spain as part of your planning process; while the transition would almost certainly be peaceful, it now seems a new Catalan economy may very well have effects on everything from pricing to availability in the country's travel industry.
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The roots of Catalonia's nationalism lie in the perspective that the rest of Spain only holds the region's economy back. But while Catalan independence may focus on equality and fairness, why is the rest of Europe opposed?