With Scotland moving ever closer, Crimea having chosen their own path, and Venice overwhelmingly voting for secession from Italy, the Spanish government has put its foot down on the Catalonia's planned independence referendum. As Time reports, In a Tuesday ruling, Spanish judges found Catalonia’s planned independence referendum to be unconstitutional. Of course, just as in Crimea, this is being ignored by the Catalan government - a region seen as the powerhouse of the Italian economy - who exclaimed "this will have no effect on the process."
In a Tuesday ruling, Spanish judges found Catalonia’s planned independence referendum to be unconstitutional, but secessionists in the Spanish autonomous region (called a “community” in Spain) have vowed to proceed regardless.
“This will have no effect on the process,” said the Catalan government’s spokesman Francesc Homs on local television.
Although stifled under the yoke of the Franco dictatorship, Catalonia has long felt cultural and linguistic disctinction from the rest of Spain. In recent years, it developed into a powerhouse of the nation’s economy. However, amid the country’s financial crisis, Madrid has been urging national unity.
“No one can unilaterally deprive the entire Spanish people of the right to decide on their future,” Spain’s conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told the parliament, which is due to debate the referendum on April 8.
Last September 11, Catalonia’s national day, hundreds of thousands of Catalans formed a vast human chain across the region to call for independence. The referendum, if it goes ahead, is planned for Nov. 9.
As Pater Tenebrarum noted, nation states are starting to splinter
One of these days, one of the secessionist movements in Europe is likely to succeed and then a domino effect may be let loose. The Crimea's recent change of allegiance has probably energized these movements further.
And it is about time, too. The concept of the centralized, large-scale nation state is anachronistic and should be abandoned. The increasing centralization of the EU is going in the wrong direction. Once again it must be stressed that for the individual citizen, it matters not one whit whether self-important EU politicians and bureaucrats can 'throw around their weight on the international stage'.
What matters far more is that they would likely be treated a lot better and become more prosperous if everything fell apart into tiny independent territories. That would definitely not mean that there could be no free trade zone, or that every region would necessarily use a different currency. The main goals of the founders of the EU, namely free trade and free movement of capital and people need not be abandoned – on the contrary, they would likely be adopted without hesitation. When a great many small territories compete with each other for citizens, then they are all going to be forced to make a good offer that makes people want to stay. Large declines in taxes would be an immediate effect, but not the only effect that could be expected.