Eurogeddon: Spain Breaking Apart As Catalonia Seeks Independence

Saturday, September 29, 2012
By Paul Martin
September 28, 2012

BARCELONA, Spain — This historic region on the Mediterranean — a center of European industrial design and tourism — has special status as an autonomous district of Spain known as Catalonia.

And as financial problems mount for Spain, many here want to get a whole lot more autonomous.

Spain is entering its second recession in four years and some Catalans say they are getting little for the river of tax revenue they send to Madrid annually. The solution they say is an independent nation.

“Financially speaking, Catalonia is perfect for Spain,” said Osvald Calzada, 32, a copywriter from Lleida, in the western part of the region. “Catalonia is the cow they constantly milk, only giving her enough grass to survive.”

On Thursday, the Catalan parliament voted in favor of holding a referendum on independence after November elections whether allowed by the Spanish government or not (under current law, only Madrid can call a legal referendum.)

Spain is taking secession talk seriously in the current financial climate. Even King Juan Carlos, who last spoke publicly on politics during a coup attempt in 1981, appealed for restraint.

“In these circumstances, the worst thing we can do is divide our forces, encourage dissent, chase chimeras and deepen wounds,” he said.

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