CNBC: Catalonia, the Next Independent State in Europe?

Catalonia: The Next Independent State in Europe.” That’s the enormous banner strung across Catalunya, one of the principal squares of the city.

Sound like a joke? Not to these people. The menus in most restaurants are printed in Spanish — and Catalan.

The real power broker here is not Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy, it is Catalan Premier Artur Mas.

This weekend, the city hosted the annual La Merce festival, a celebration of all things Catalan. The highlights was the castells, constructions of 50-foot-high human pyramids. It took place in Jaume Square, in front of City Hall.

At the end of each presentation, the participants sang Catalonian songs and waved the Catalonian flag, while the mayor and regional officials beamed from the balcony above.

Last week, on September 11, the national day of Catalonia, hundreds of thousands marched in favor of independence.

This week, the Catalan parliament is set to approve a resolution that would create a referendum on independence. Eighty-three of the 135 deputies in the regional parliament support independence.

Catalonian parties have sought guidance from Brussels on seceding from Spain.

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