The Washington Post – What would happen if Catalonia seceded from Spain?

This Sunday, millions of voters in Catalonia will go to the polls. And this isn’t any ordinary election. Polls indicate that pro-independence parties are poised to win a big majority, which could pave the way for an eventual referendum on whether Catalonia should secede from the rest of Spain.

Catalan nationalism isn’t exactly a new force. The region, which borders France, has its own language and has long seen itself as distinct from the rest of the country. But calls for independence have been growing louder during the euro zone debt crisis. Back in September, 1.5 million Catalans took to the streets for a pro-independence rally.

One big recent issue is taxes. As my colleague Edward Cody recently reported, Catalonia is one of the wealthiest regions of Spain, and many Catalans feel that their taxes are being used to subsidize other, poorer states. When the Spanish economy was booming, that was an annoyance. Now that Spain is locked in a never-ending recession, with unemployment at 25 percent, Catalans want a greater say in their own finances.

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