The Stream

What happens if Catalonia declares independence?

Separatists are vowing to keep up push for statehood, but Spain is not budging either.

“We know that there may be disbarments, arrests … But we are prepared, and in no case will it be stopped,” Catalan lawmaker Mireia Boya tweeted.

Pro-secessionist leaders in Catalonia plan to declare independence from Spain this week. But Spain’s central government calls the move illegal and hasn’t ruled out using emergency constitutional powers to overtake the regional government, thereby shutting down the Catalan parliament.

Tensions between regional and central governments have escalated further since Catalonia’s October 1 banned referendum vote.  Spanish police tried to block voters at the polls, using batons and rubber bullets. Hundreds were injured.  Last week, thousands of protesters took to the streets, waving the region’s red-and-yellow flag.

Not everyone in Catalonia agrees independence is best for their future. Although the referendum overwhelmingly favoured leaving Spain, fewer than half of eligible voters turned out.  The autonomous region in northeastern Spain is among the wealthiest in the country and calls for secession are already having economic impacts. Companies and banks said they plan to relocate out of Catalonia, and a question mark remains over the future of the popular FC Barcelona team.

With little budging from either side, what’s the path forward for the Catalan people? We speak to people on both sides of the debate and check in on the conversations happening on social media. Join the conversation.

On this episode of The Stream, we’ll speak to:

Jonah Hull @jonahhull
Senior Correspondent, Al Jazeera English

Marta Rosique @MartaRosiqSalt
Spokesperson, Universities for a Republic

Cesar Rubio

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.