Over the last few weeks, I have been watching news about an important event in Spain. On October 1, 2017, the region of Catalonia in northeastern Spain held a referendum on whether to secede from the rest of Spain. Around 90 percent of respondents voted “Yes”, but this move has not been met with approval from the central government in Madrid. In fact, on October 4, King Felipe VI of Spain gave a rare televised address condemning the referendum, a sentiment shared by his Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Police in Catalonia has also responded to the referendum with force, as the Spanish constitutional court has declared the referendum illegal. On October 21, the Spanish government suspended Catalonia’s autonomy and imposed direct rule over the region days before the Declaration of Independence. But today, the Catalan parliament voted to declare independence from the Kingdom of Spain. In response, the Spanish central government voted to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy hours later. But what do I think of this?
When news broke out of Catalonia’s referendum, I was a little uncertain to be honest. On one hand, Catalonia does constitute a major part of Spain’s economy and GDP. On the other hand, the people of Catalonia voted overwhelmingly for independence, and the Spanish government should respect the will of the people. One thing that do I think should happen are multilateral agreements between the Spanish central government, the Catalan regional government, the European Union, and the United States. I hope that a peaceful resolution between the parties works out for both sides.
Until next time,
The Centrist Voice