Spain nervous over Catalan independence referendum

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Dr Marc Lanteigne

Madrid, Spain

One of the issues which sparked the rise of separatism in Catalonia was the repeal of special status rights for the territory.

Spain is nervous that Catalan nationalism might unearth Basque separatism as well, and so Madrid has been much more reluctant to allow for the same degree of decentralisation seen in Canada.

The latest separation crisis in Québec was 1995, and I matched in the unity demonstration. Even though emotions were running high, (the motion failed by only 30,000 votes), that was tame compared to the mess that Spain is in now.

Canada is very decentralised, with the provinces having much autonomy and Québec having extensive language and legal rights borrowed from France.

There is still some support for separation in Québec.

But it is very tepid now and I would be surprised if it reached 20% of the population, especially with Justin Trudeau being so popular.

Catalonia (or at least its government) wants complete independence, divorce from Spain and separate membership in the EU.

Dr Marc Lanteigne is from the Centre for Defence and Security Studies. A Québec native, he has studied secession politics with Québec and Catalonia as focal points.

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