Al Jazeera: Catalonia Independence Referendum

Voters in Catalonia have scheduled a referendum to decide if they want to break from Spain and become an independent republic. The region of 7.5 million people accounts for 15 percent of Spain’s population and 20 percent of economic output, report David Child and Charlotte Mitchell for Al Jazeera. “The region, which forms one of Spain's 17 ‘autonomous communities,’ has its own police force and powers over affairs such as education, healthcare and welfare.” A non-binding referendum was held in 2014 with low voter turnout, and the debt crisis of 2008 fueled calls for independence. Spain, taking steps to confiscate ballots and close polling places, maintains that the referendum is unconstitutional. “Catalonia has a distinct history, culture and language,” note Child and Mitchell. “First referenced in the 12th century, a defined region of Catalonia had existed for more than 250 years before it joined Spain during the country's formation in the 16th Century. As such, identity plays a large role in the debate surrounding independence.” Catalonia would have to apply to become a member of the European Union, and in the meantime would presumably would lose trading rights and other benefits. – YaleGlobal

Al Jazeera: Catalonia Independence Referendum

Spain tries to block Catalonia, region in Spain and already autonomous, from voting on its independence; region would have to apply for EU membership
David Child and Charlotte Mitchell
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Read the article.

David Child is a journalist, currently interning with Al Jazeera English Online. He holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London. Charlotte Mitchell is a journalist, currently interning with Al Jazeera English Online. She has written for the Times and Broadway Baby and holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London.

© 2017 Al Jazeera Media Network

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.