What Is Currently Happening in Spain and Why Should You Care

Hundreds of Spanish people have been protesting against the separation of Catalonia to the rest of Spain. These manifestations have been the largest in the history of Spain that is leading them into a possible national crisis. Around 300,000 people were part of these protests, while almost 100,000 people in favor of Catalonia’s independence. Catalans seek independence from Spain since its people argue that they must separate to preserve their traditions. Just like Brexit, the Catalans want to be able to “take control” and gain a greater autonomy. This region in Spain has had a well-known contrast within it because of the two languages were spoken and origins. The Spanish Constitutional Court has made it clear that Catalonia does not possess the power to call such popular vote since the decision relies on the Spanish people entirely. However, nationalist leaders of Catalonia have long ignored and disobeyed the laws of the Spanish Constitutional Court since 2014. But you might ask yourself, why should we care about this? Well, this major historical event can influence a controversial public opinion through this political movement. It is implementing the idea of the state and the rights of the democratic liberties of every individual. What does that mean? It means that the democracy achieved will be devalued by people normalizing the ‘right’ to disdain the rules of any democratic system provoked by nationalist leaders.

A philosopher named Karl Popper once described the strength of a democratic nation as “the rule of law” instead of “the rule of the people”. The restriction of power through constitutions on behalf of its citizens has been the true meaning of democratic liberty - there is a balance established within the people and the state to guarantee the rights of every individual better, and this way, prevent the abuse of power and the trespass of the authority. By allowing Catalonia to decide which laws apply to them and which ones do not, we would be accepting the idea that anyone can directly take the law into their hands and modify it to their advantage. That would mean that the rule of law and democracy would disappear.

Of course, many may understand the freedom and independence that Catalonia is seeking but have not yet contemplated the true selfish motives. The parties in favor of separating from Spain have demonstrated their ‘right’ to freely decide their status through social, cultural and economic development, called ‘self-determination.' So, these nationalists against remaining with Spain have shown zero or no interest in alternate or moderate solutions that will not potentially plunge Catalonia’s market. With so much shared history with Spain as a whole, many Spaniards have made it clear that they are not okay with Catalans assuming that they can simply put an end to what Spaniards have built together to develop Spain altogether. If Catalonia achieves independence, then they would most probably have to renegotiate their relations with the EU (European Union) and set up their new policies. But about 1,500 companies have already left the region of Catalonia due to their uncertainty of where their markets would be headed. If the companies were to stay, then they would have to face a downside by not being 100% certain of what that would mean for their companies worldwide.  By the Catalonian nationalists selling themselves to the world that Spain has oppressed them, we are dealing with a ‘victimized’ group. Which only makes the Spaniards gain a bad reputation around the world and they’re not happy with it. Sure, this strategy seems to be very useful in gaining worldwide support, but is jeopardizing the people and Catalonia's future worth it?

 

Sources

PellicerTwitter, Lluís, et al. “The Companies That Are Leaving Catalonia.” EL PAÍS, Síguenos En Síguenos En Twitter Síguenos En Facebook Síguenos En Twitter Síguenos En Instagram, 10 Oct. 2017, elpais.com/elpais/2017/10/10/inenglish/1507620262_850506.html. 

Separatist leaders in the wealthy region have threatened to declare independence from Spain -- the fourth biggest economy in the eurozone -- setting off a severe political crisis that has unsettled businesses, and investors. “Spain Split? These Companies Are Leaving Catalonia.” CNNMoney, Cable News Network, money.cnn.com/2017/10/09/investing/spain-catalonia-banks-companies-independence/index.html.

Sills, Ben, and Charles Penty. “It's Decision Time for Catalonia.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 15 Oct. 2017, www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-15/decision-time-for-catalonia-w....

“Catalonia Independence Referendum Sees Catalan Nationalist Take to the Streets in Protest against the Spanish Government.” – The Sun, firenewsfeed.com/news/538854.