Being independent or not? This question was posed on October 1st, 2017. A regular day everywhere else in the world but Spain. It was the day when an illegal referendum took place in Catalonia. The outcome: Surrounded by violence, hundreds of people ended up wounded, the Catalan political leaders in jail or in exile and, ultimately, it was one of the reasons why the President of Spain was dismissed with the vote of no confidence in the Government. What does the Spanish youth think about all that few years later? Our author María from Andalusia found out.
The desire for independence had been a controversial topic for a big part of the Catalan population for years. Even though it is against Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, the Catalan Government carried out an illegal referendum to ask their people if they wanted their region to be independent or not.
Our author María from Spain asked five students from all over the country about their opinion on this matter. Thanks to their Erasmus exchange in Paris, where they got to know each other, Nerea (20 years old, Galicia), Alberto (20 years old, Madrid), Ferran (20 years old, Catalonia), Librada (22 years old, Andalusia) and Carla (20 years old, Catalonia) have been exposed to a lot of different political views.
Where Were you During the Catalan Illegal Referendum in 2017?
What do you Personally Think About the Referendum?
Should Things Have Been Done Differently?
Were You in Favor of Catalonia Being Independent? What do You Think About it 5 Years Later?
Even with the way the situation escalated, everything has apparently calmed down nowadays. Most of the imprisoned politicians were spared. Nevertheless, five years after the illegal referendum, demands for Catalonia’s independence from Spain remain loud and clear. But Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sánchez has recently declared: The government won’t make a referendum possible.
Is There an Important Regionalist or Pro-independence Movement in Your Region?
Should the Government Hold Referenda For Regions With a Significant Pro-independence Presence? Do you Think it Will Ever Happen?
Although not all these five young people are in favour of the independence, they all agree on a few elementary things: freedom of speech is essential in a democracy, every counterpart should prioritize dialogue – and violence is never a solution.