September 12, 2020

A PEOPLE WHO THINK THEMSELVES A NATION ARE ONE:

Catalonia and Spain Are Reaching the Breaking Point: The time to halt escalation was ten years ago. What might happen now? (Nick Ottens, 9/12/20, National Interest)

There are good reasons for Catalonia to become independent. This region of Spain, with a population of 7.5 million, has its own language and traditions. It has a long history of semi-detachment from the rest of the peninsula. The County of Barcelona was created in 801 by the Carolingians, when they pushed the Moors south. Barcelona joined the Kingdom of Aragon in 1137, which in turn merged with Castille to form Spain in 1479. Catalonia retained its autonomy until the War of the Spanish Succession, when it backed the losing pretender. Self-government was briefly restored in the 1930s, but Catalan nationalism was brutally suppressed by Francisco Franco, who went so far as to ban the Catalan language.

Yet those arguments seldom come up when I ask supporters of independence why they want to leave Spain. The first thing they usually mention is that Catalonia pays more into the Spanish treasury than it takes out.

Which is true, but not unusual. Bavaria is richer than other German states. California and New York pay more money to Washington DC than they get back. The Paris region accounts for almost a third of French economic output. Holland subsidizes the rest of the Netherlands.

Americans, Germans, the French and the Dutch accept those differences, because they feel part of one nation. Catalans and Spaniards don't.

California will similarly shear off eventually.  

Posted by at September 12, 2020 7:27 AM

  

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