For years, there has been a growing movement for independence from Spain in Catalonia, a prosperous region that includes the city of Barcelona. Since 1977, Catalan has enjoyed limited autonomy from the Spanish government and in 2006, Catalonian citizens approved the Statute of Autonomy For Catalonia by referendum vote, establishing the framework for Catalonia’s autonomous government. In 2010, the Statute of Autonomy was struck down by Spanish Government Constitutional Courts, which reignited the independence debate. And now, on October 1st, 2017, citizens of Catalonia will vote in a major referendum that could decide the future of the region.
Well… if they’re allowed to vote that is.
Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and the central government in Madrid, have declared that any referendum which poses the question of whether to secede from Spain is unconstitutional and illegal, and will not be allowed to take place. After the central government’s announcement, huge protests sprang up throughout the region, especially in Barcelona.