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rojo's avatar

What difference will it make if Catalonia decides to follow through and become an independent nation?

Asked by rojo (24176points) October 3rd, 2017

As asked.

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8 Answers

Muad_Dib's avatar

Catalonia would no longer be a member of the EU, their economy would tank, and all the sane people that did not want it to happen but got dragged along due to geography would suffer.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It’s a smaller scale of Brexit. Except that England has a more-or-less sustainable, working economy. Catalonia doesn’t.

Catalonia will be a failed state, begging to reenter Spain, within three years.

CWOTUS's avatar

The notion that “Catalonia would fail on its own” is, frankly, ridiculous. There’s no reason why Catalonia can’t be independent and successful, same as other small nations, including other small nations in Europe. As currently envisioned – and everything about Catalonia is speculative for now – this “nation” would certainly be larger than Luxembourg, and probably about the same size as Belgium. Neither of those nations is at risk of being a failed state or economy.

That’s not to say that success is automatic, either. I know nothing of the Catalan economy or culture (except what I learned over four years of basic high school Spanish – which included some introduction to Spanish culture – over 45 years ago, and the bits and pieces picked up since then). But other small nations have existed for a long time and have thrived: Aside from those already mentioned, Singapore may be the most relevant, but Hong Kong counts, too. (Hong Kong was part of the British Empire, but as far as I know the British did not have Hong Kong as a welfare client. I has been productive on its own for centuries.)

The difference that it might make is in the EU itself when it applies for membership (if it does, considering the drag that the EU has proven itself on independent nations), or NATO or even the UN – to the extent that the UN has any relevance any more.

It would also be interesting to see how it would address the issue of trans-Mediterranean migration from North Africa, because even though it’s not as likely a landing place as some other Southern European nations (such as Italy and Greece, for example, or other parts of Spain), if it gains independence then it may be a target for that kind of movement while things are in flux.

Darth_Algar's avatar


A GDP of $250 billion isn’t a working, sustainable economy?

stanleybmanly's avatar

The trouble with the decision to “follow through” is in the likelihood of other autonomous regions following suit.——the balkanization of Spain. As ongoing events clearly illustrate, there is the very real chance of a bloody civil war.

Zaku's avatar

Compare to San Marino , a small independent country inside Italy.

Or Andorra , the small independent country between France and Spain.

They seem to do well enough for themselves. (Andorra has a special agreement with the EU, and San Marino is independent of it.)

No doubt parts of the Spanish government and various economic interests would be impacted in various ways. I haven’t studied it, but it seems likely to me it’s a matter of organizations used to being in positions of authority reacting against people wanting to change things. I also imagine there are people in the same region who don’t want to split from Spain. I’m sure it’s not going to be reducible to a simple explanation for people not familiar with the place.

DominicY's avatar

Catalonia is Spain’s wealthiest sub-national entity, so it makes sense that it would have the most motive to break away. Spain was once a collection of independent kingdoms. Areas that “balkanize” often were separate in earliest periods of history. The balkanization of the Balkans seems to have worked relatively well too. Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro are all fairly stable prosperous nations. But of course it came at the price of a nasty war. I’d hate to see that in Spain. After Catalonia, I’ll have my eye on Aragon and Galicia.

Secession seems to be something Americans have mixed ideas on. We tend to support it when it happens abroad, but look what happened when a piece of our own nation seceded. The fact is, history is a cycle of several larger national entities turning into a collection of small kingdoms and vice versa. This may be just one part of the cycle. Ultimately the Spanish crackdown did not bode well. I do not want to see a civil war in Spain, but we may be headed there.

ucme's avatar

La Liga football teams Barcelona, Espanyol etc would have to find another league that would take them…tricky.

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