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Should Catalonia be Granted Independence from Spain?

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Should Catalonia be Granted Independence from Spain?

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On October 1st, Catalonia held a referendum, voting on whether or not the citizens want to become a separate country from Spain. Around 90 percent of the voters chose independence from Spain. It ended in a violent fight between Catalans and Spanish police, who tried to stop the vote from taking place. The police seized the ballot boxes of the controversial referendum, leaving over 900 injured.

Spain’s high court ruled the independence vote to be unconstitutional and illegal, even though Catalonia has its own government. The Catalan citizens feel as if they are not a part of Spain. Catalonia runs like a separate country, so it should be granted independence to be officially become separated from Spain. However, Spain responded to the situation harshly, calling on a specific part of its constitution, with approval from the senate, for the very first time. Article 155 allowed Madrid central police forces to instill direct control over Catalonia, and remove the president and his cabinet from office. Arrest warrants for the Catalan president and his cabinet made him flee to the safety of Belgium, and he was just recently released by a Brussels judge after Spain issued European arrest warrants. Nine other cabinet members are currently in Madrid jails.

Catalans believe they have given much more to the Spanish government than they have ever gotten back. Catalonia is a highly industrialized area– according to the Washington Post, “In 2014, Catalonia paid about $11.8 billion more to Spain’s tax authorities than it received”. Catalonia would be much better off being independent, it would benefit the economy greatly. Catalans also speak a distinct language, called Catalan, that developed independently from Spain. Catalonia developed its own culture and customs distinctly, so the citizens feel as if they are not in any way a part of Spain. Being granted independence would only legally confirm how they have always felt.

The Spanish government may lose revenue by granting independence to Catalonia, but they could find other areas to industrialize to account for the loss. It is not right that the Spanish government takes so much from Catalonia, and is not be able to return even a small fraction of it. Catalonia does not need the Spanish government to function– it has autonomy and a system of separate laws. This is why independence should be granted to Catalonia: it functions separate from Spain and provides so much more than it ever gets back.  

 

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The student news site of Manhasset High School in Manhasset, New York
Should Catalonia be Granted Independence from Spain?