EUobserver.com – Catalan separatist looks to crisis with hope

BRUSSELS – It is often said that on the long and winding road to European union, it takes a crisis to move ahead. Now the same may be true for regional independence. Europe has always had its share of movements calling for the breakaway of an often distinct part of a larger country. Most well-known are Scotland in the UK, Flanders in Belgium, and Catalonia and the Basque Country in Spain. But the dire state of much of the continent’s public finances, they say, is giving them a larger audience willing to listen.

Jordi Sole, secretary general of the European Free Alliance, a group in the European Parliament of parties for more regional autonomy, told EUobserver that people have come to see two things. “One: You cannot lose because the situation is already quite desperate. And two: They see independence as a tool to have hopes for the future,” he said.

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