Main | Sunday, July 11, 2010

BARCELONA: One Million March For Catalan Independence

Spain's constitutional court declared on Friday that there is no legal basis to consider its Catalonia region an autonomous nation, sending over one million protesters into the streets of Barcelona yesterday.
The verdict came after four years of debate in which conservative and liberal judges locked horns over whether the charter went beyond the limits of Spain's system of granting varying degrees of self-rule to its 17 regions. The Catalan region's statute of autonomy, which was earlier approved by the Spanish parliament and endorsed by Catalan voters in a 2006 referendum, gave the regional parliament enhanced powers in taxation and judicial matters as well as more control over airports, ports and immigration. The court approved in June most of Catalonia's statute of autonomy but changed some of the most controversial points, drawing the anger of the government of the nationalist-minded region. The statute has the support of most political parties in Catalonia, where a sizeable minority would like to see the wealthy region, which has its own language and distinct culture, break away from Spain.
According to the above-linked article, Catalonia has only 7% of Spain's population but represents more than a quarter of its economy.

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