Catalonia is voting on its future in Spain – and Madrid is worried…(Go Catalonia!!!!)
Monday 19 November 2012
The red and yellow striped flags of Catalonia bobbed about giddily as Lluis Recoder delivered his message: despite the crisis gripping Spain, Catalans could be as rich as Scandinavians.
“If we were a European state we would be seventh in Europe in per capita income, after Denmark and Sweden,” the Catalan nationalist and regional government minister declared, to an enthusiastic response. His figures are based on wealth calculations that can look skewed. (Struggling Ireland is, for example, richer on a per capita basis than thriving Germany). But they are seen here at least as proof that Catalonia – a region of almost eight million people – could be not just viable but also wealthy if it were to separate from Spain.
“It is very viable,” said Artur Mas, the Catalan president, in an interview with the Guardian. “What is not viable is the current situation.”
The Catalan separatist campaign will come to a head this weekend in an election that will in effect serve as a plebiscite on the region’s future in Spain.
It is a long-running affair, borne of historical and cultural factors that have persisted for centuries. But you do not have to scratch too hard before you get to the principal bone of contention in crisis-ridden Spain: money.