Catalonia’s parliament recently approved a resolution that will push the province to secede from the rest of Spain by no later than 2017. The Catalan regional government now has 30 days to begin drafting a new constitution, and start establishing a tax office and social security administration. The resolution passed by a vote of 72 to 63 despite the protests of the central government, who have long asserted that no Spanish province has the legal right to secede.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the vote would be challenged in court, before adding that “Catalonia is not going anywhere, nothing is going to break.” However, the pro-secessionists knew that their vote would likely be ruled illegal in Spain’s court system, so they added a stipulation to the resolution that specifically tells the regional government to ignore all orders issued by any higher court. This all but guarantees a showdown between Madrid and Catalonia, and we’ll soon see what lengths either side will go to assert their sovereignty.
One thing we know for sure is that the debt-riddled Spanish government can’t afford to lose their most prosperous province, which produces a fifth of their GDP. The European Union can’t afford to let the province secede either, even though the secessionists still want to be a part of the EU.
If Spain doesn’t willingly let the province leave, the secessionists have promised that they won’t take any of Spain’s debt with them. In other words, if Spain can’t stop the secession movement, it will spark another debt crisis that could threaten to unravel the EU.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.