On September 11, 2012, on Catalonia’s National Day, 1.5 million people from all over Catalonia marched peacefully and joyfully through the streets of Barcelona, behind a single placard: Catalonia: New State in Europe. Fifteen days later, President Artur Mas called snap elections for the Parliament of Catalonia, in order to hold a referendum that would let the people of Catalonia decide their own future. The rest of the world and even Spain were caught by surprise, but the events unfolding in Barcelona have been a long time coming.
In this new book, 35 experts explore Catalonia’s history, economics, politics, language, and culture, in order to explain to the rest of the world the fascinating story behind the march, the new legislature, and the upcoming vote on whether Catalonia will become the next new state in Europe.
With a prologue by Artur Mas, President of Catalonia, and contributions from: Ignasi Aragay • Laia Balcells • Germà Bel • Laura Borràs • Alfred Bosch • Núria Bosch • Roger Buch i Ros • Joan Canadell • Pau Canaleta • Salvador Cardús • Muriel Casals • Andreu Domingo • Carme Forcadell Lluís • Josep Maria Ganyet • Salvador Garcia-Ruiz • Àlex Hinojo • Edward Hugh • Oriol Junqueras • M. Carme Junyent • J.C. Major • Pere Mayans Balcells • Josep M. Muñoz • Mary Ann Newman • Elisenda Paluzie • Vicent Partal • Cristina Perales-García • Eva Piquer • Enric Pujol Casademont ¶ Marta Rovira-Martínez • Vicent Sanchis • Xavier Solano • Miquel Strubell • Matthew Tree • Ramon Tremosa • F. Xavier Vila
This lively compilation of penetrating essays from 35 experts raises questions that transcend the specific issue of Catalan independence from Spain. Forcibly absorbed by the kingdom of Spain in 1714 following military defeat, Catalonia, in 2012, held its largest pro-independence rally. The collection's essayists persuasively maintain that the Spanish centralized bureaucracy drains Catalonian wealth even as it continues its historical suppression of Catalan culture. Language and culture are important; they, as much as territory, define a Catalan. And one writer even raises the question: if Catalonia does obtain full independence, what future will Spain itself have? Given the inability of the Franco regime to stifle Catalan inclinations to independence, a sentiment that more recent initiatives from Madrid have only encouraged, reforms to the present system that would give Catalonia a better fit may well prove impossible. Although the collection does not contain any anti-independence pieces, the reader comes away with a vivid sense of the threads that run through history and the impermanence of political structures.