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Catalonia referendum: Spain in a big political crisis yet again
Catalonia (an autonomous region of Spain located on the eastern extremity of the Iberian Peninsula) witnessed a general strike after completion of the referendum that took place last Sunday, in which the Catalans (citizens of Catalonia are called Catalans) voted to separate from Spain demanding independence.

President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, who also is in favour of the referendum said that the citizens of Catalonia have earned the right to be independent. However, Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy appreciated the national police force and civil guards for controlling violence during the protest stating that Catalonia's referendum is illegal.

The Spanish government imposed Article 155 which gives Madrid (Capital of Spain) extra power over Catalonia, and also declared Emergency in the autonomous region five days prior to the referendum.

As the Spanish government imposed emergency, the police brutally suppressed the protesting Catalans. As a result, around 900 Catalans and 35 police officers were badly injured in the violence. Only 2.6 million people participated in the poll which forms just over 42 per cent of the electorate of Catalonia.

If we begin to discuss, how strong Catalonia is and why the region's people are demanding independence, then we shall observe that Catalonia has had its own language called "Catalan" since time immemorial. It is well recorded in history of more than 1000 years that Catalonia has been a distinct region with a present population of 7.5 million that accounts for 1/6th of Spain's total population. In fact, Catalonia is nearly as big as Switzerland in terms of area and has its own dignified culture; and its own parliament which can take minor and sometimes major financial and administrative decisions for Catalonia.

Catalonia's capital is Barcelona which is the second largest city of Spain after Madrid. Barcelona is also the economic hub of the European Union being Spain's most industrialised city. This region attracts almost 25 per cent of the tourists visiting Spain, therefore being a huge financial resource for Spain.

Now, looking at some financial figures, Catalonia has a GDP of $314 million which makes it the 34th biggest economy of the world, more than Portugal and Hong Kong. Catalonia's contribution to Spain's economy is what Scotland's is to the United Kingdom. So, because of all these facts, Catalans think that they are contributing more to Spain in comparison to what they are getting in return.

Let's wait and watch whether Catalonia can achieve its independence from spain. once result of election come out. A similar kind of referendum was also held in 2014, wherein only 2.2 million voters participated out of the 5.4 million potential voters. At that time 80 per cent voters had been in favour of separation, although, the election was declared as illegal by the Sapnish government.

However, if Catalonia becomes an independent country now, then it will have to focus on its security as Catalonia doesn't have a separate military which is crucial for the region's security.

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