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Using recent survey data, Sergi Pardos-Prado explains that support for independence in Catalonia is strongly driven by education and language, and robustly associated with liberal sociocultural values. When it comes to the way forward, there is little consensus on the best outcome for Catalonia: those who favour independence are not in a majority, but those who oppose independence are split on the best alternative. However, a degree of consensus does exist on the process, with a large majority believing a referendum should be held to determine Catalonia’s future.
As Scotland gears up for a second push for independence, Scottish nationalists should learn from Catalonia’s failures.
Catalonia’s push for independence is far from new. The region enjoyed great autonomy until General Franco’s regime, during which its sovereignty was ruthlessly and repeatedly violated. The fall of Franco revitalized Catalan autonomy under the 1978 Spanish constitution– autonomy which was furthered by a 2006 statute which even described Catalonia as a “nation.” Nonetheless, calls for independence began to grow as Spain suffered from economic crisis, and the Spanish constitutional court reduced the region’s autonomy in 2010 by reinterpreting parts of the 2006 Catalan statute of autonomy, ostensibly undermining the Catalan identity.