Over the last 20 years, 19 European regions have become full-fledged independent nations. Could Catalonia become a new European state?
Over the last 20 years, 19 European regions have become full-fledged independent nations. Six of the 19 countries—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia—are now member states of the European Union. Croatia will be joining next year. Could Catalonia become a new European state?
On September 11th, Catalonia's national holiday, one and a half million people took to the streets in a massive demonstration in defense of self-determination. Shortly afterwards, Spanish President Mariano Rajoy closed the door on any possibility for negotiations of a fiscal pact with the Catalan government. The response from the President of the Catalan government, Artur Mas, was immediate. He called for early elections and since then the political scene in Catalonia has taken a giant leap forward. A majority in the Catalan Parliament voted for holding a referendum during the next legislature so that Catalonia can decide its own future.
But is the road to self-determination legally viable? How should Parliament organize the referendum? Will the Spanish Constitution turn out to be an insurmountable obstacle? What measures will the Spanish government take to block the initiatives of the Catalan government and Parliament? Are amicable negotiations feasible? Would an independent Catalonia continue to be a member of the European Union? Why can Quebec and Scotland hold independence referendums and not Catalonia? Would an independent Catalonia be economically viable?
"30 Minuts" interviews political scientists, constitutionalists and economists in an attempt to find answers to these questions. Interviewed in the program are: Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, Spanish Minister of Justice; Miquel Roca, one of the founding fathers of the 1978 Spanish Constitution; Carles Viver Pi-Sunyer, Director of the Institute of Autonomous Studies and former Vice President of the Constitutional Court; political science professors and constitutional experts Ferran Requejo, Joan Lluís Pérez Fransech, Juan Carlos Gavara, Antoni Abat and Javier Pérez Royo; economists Núria Bosch, Ángel de la Fuente and Xavier Cuadras; Carme Forcadell, President of the Catalan National Assembly; and Josep Manel Ximenis, Mayor of Arenys de Munt, who led local referendums on the right to decide.