It is not clear yet whether Catalan independence referendum is the result of a genuine ideals self-determination or the consequence of the post economic crisis.
What emerged from many interviews to secessionists, the economic crisis is the reason behind the sentiment of independentism of the wealthiest region of Spain, which pays more taxes overall, contributing for the most of the services of the whole nation. The post economic crisis and austerity hit the region for the last eight years and people saw their savings disappearing progressively. Increasing unemployment hit the region as well and looks and sounds as self interest and search for the past economic prosperity are behind the ‘yes’ vote more than the nineteen century romantic nationalistic ideals of self determination based on language, identity, historic inheritance.
The political narrative of the alternative movement have done the rest. It is undeniable that movements, such as the one led by Carles Puigdemont, filled the gap of a missing political alternative. The Catalan European Democratic Party, PDeCAT, through independentism rhetoric came out as a third political axis able to drive consensus and gain that grassroots strength which otherwise would never have gained if supported more integrated and non-separatist ideals, sharing similar goals, identities and policies with pre-existing, traditional, political parties.
London, 4 Oct, 2017
Justine de Braeme