Independence Fever

Braden Rice, Staff Writer

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Things have changed a lot politically in 2017 on both national and international levels. With Brexit happening in the UK and Donald Trump becoming America’s 45th President, the unexpected is starting to become more expected. Nevertheless, a new feeling of nationalism is sweeping the world, encouraging ethnic groups to rise up and form their own nations.

In the Northeastern Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia, where Barcelona is located, the local government just held a referendum for independence. To understand the situation, you have to know the history of the region. In medieval times, Catalonia was its own nation with its own distinct language and culture. The kingdom was annexed by Spain in the 15th Century when the King of Aragon and the Queen of Castile married and ruled their kingdoms together. History also shows that a sense of rebellion is not uncommon for the Catalonians. They have tried to rebel multiple times since the 15th century, but have not been successful, yet. The referendum had a 42% turnout, with over 90% in favor of independence. This was after Spain used force to shut down a third of the polling stations. Protests are being staged for and against the movement in the region, some of which have become violent recently.  The regional government signed an independence declaration on October 10th. They then suspended it, stating they would like to negotiate peaceful secession from Spain. The Prime Minister of Spain stated publicly that the Spanish government believes the independence movement is illegitimate, and would use force to shut it down if necessary. Now Catalonian nationalists will finally have a chance to achieve their ultimate dream of independence.

 

Contributed By:

www.ft.com/content/3164de30-ae96-11e7-aab9-abaa44b1e130?mhq5j=e5

www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/catalonia-confrontation-dialogue-171012103655562.html

www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/13/eu-intervention-in-catalonia-would-cause-chaos-juncker-says

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Independence Fever