The rise of secessionism in Catalonia has emerged out of the will to decide the region’s political destiny as a nation
(LSE) – Will Catalonia secede from Spain?
Montserrat Guibernau explores why many Catalonians now hope that it might. She argues that Catalonia’s subsidization of less affluent regions, which leaves the region worse off, is a major root of discontent.
With 23% unemployment (rising to 40% among young people), the deepening of the economic crisis is hitting Catalans hard. Resentment against the Spanish government’s economic policies and dissatisfaction with politics prevail: In the Catalan society, those who are ‘dissatisfied with democracy’ rose to 49% in March. Catalonia, a traditionally prosperous region, sees its wealth and status downgraded as it looses competitiveness and lacks resources and saving for infrastructure while accumulating annual deficit of 8% of GDP due to the financial arrangements imposed by the Spanish state. In this context, support for Catalan fiscal autonomy (Pacte Fiscal) is rising fast and secession, for the first time in Catalan history, appears as a legitimate option.