Riots and civil unrest have dominated the streets of Catalonia over a violent government interjection that Spain initiated on Oct. 1 to stop a Catalan ballot, in the which, the Catalans voiced their opinions on the matter of a secession from Spain.
Spain conquered Catalonia in the 15th century, and since that time, Catalonia has been trying to escape from Spain. The region has tried to secede numerous times, but this time the situation is significantly more intense, according to Metro.
On Sunday, Oct. 1, the province held a ballot to analyze what majority of the population wanted to secede from the country. According to The Wall Street Journal, 90 percent of voters voted in favor of becoming an independent country.
The Wall Street Journal reported that police forces were sent into Catalonia to stop the ballot on Sunday, which caused many violent riots to break out between the Catalans and the police force.
Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia President, lashed out at the king of Spain for not peacefully supporting the vote taken by the Catalan people, according to CNN News.
“We’re going to declare independence 48 hours after all the official votes are counted,” Puigdemont said to Independent News. “This will probably be the end of the week, and so we will act over the weekend or early next week.”
Citizens of Spain have offered their feelings about the possible secession of Catalonia.
Antonio Paz, a school teacher in Madrid, Spain, said he would not mind if Catalonia left Spain.
“I like that region, their language, food, … but if the Catalonians want to become independent, that’s alright with me,” Paz said. “That’s only if they do it and they’re totally self-sufficient like any other country in the world is and without any type of connections or ties in regards to Spain.”
Benjamin Pitman, a freshman who served a mission in Madrid, Spain, and is studying psychology, shared his negative insights on the succession.
“I heard a lot from Spaniards about how Catalonia wanted to become independent on my mission,” Pitman said. “The reason why they want to become independent is because they feel as though they’re giving more into Spain financially, but they forget that Spain has had to sacrifice economically in other areas of the country.”
According to CNBC News, Catalonia makes up about 16 percent of the population of Spain but accounts for 23 percent of all of Spain’s industry, giving it a significant role in the economics of Spain.
Marie Carmen, a government worker in Catalonia, expressed most citizens of Catalonia feel as though the financial support they give to Spain is well received, but they receive little in return.
“Personally, I believe that Catalonia could be an independent state, but not right now,” Carmen said. “Maybe in a couple of years.”
It is currently planned for Puigdemont to meet with Catalonia’s Parliament on Tuesday, Oct. 10. According to The Wall Street Journal, it is where the decision will be made whether or not the state will secede from Spain.