It looks like battle lines have been drawn, as Catalan independence seekers gave victory to separatist parties in a regional election on the 25th November 2012. Catalonia is Spain’s most powerful economic region, and if the various separatist parties can reach some sort of agreement it could hold an independence referendum that will not be sanctioned by the Spanish government in Madrid.
Yet, while some of their politicians seem desperate to leave Spain, not all Catalans are convinced. Many are happy enough to speak a different language and leave it at that.
Economically, there are serious questions about whether the region would survive on its own. Just like the rest of Spain it has high unemployment. At the of September 2012 the rate was 22.56% compared with just over 25% for the whole of Spain, so it isn’t as though Catalonia is an economic powerhouse right now.
There’s a good chance that the rest of Spain would turn its back on Catalonia as far as buying goods is concerned, and that could result in some businesses leaving and relocating to other parts of Spain.
Independence would mean the population of Spain decreasing from its present 44 million people to around 36.5 million.
Bear in mind too that dropping out of the EU is something Catalonia wouldn’t really want to do. The Spanish are generally considered ‘good’ Europeans.
It’s true that places like Barcelona enjoy a big tourist industry, but unfortunately it’ll take more than the income derived from tourists to keep the economy in Catalonia afloat.
Maybe they just stick to the rivalry of the two major football clubs in Spain, Real Madrid and Barcelona, and forget any thoughts of independence!