The egoist discourse of the tax-pays transfers between Spanish regions can be applied to many scales and in all of them, a discrepancy between income and outcome is going to appear. This circumstance is assumed under the principle of solidarity that can be observed in any system of organisation. From a family to a government, at any private company and community. So, to find a way of solving problems in splitting regions in base of the distribution of taxes, might conclude with the atomisation of any country or any region or any local government.
On the other hand, it is the historic milestones than could justify the identity of a society as the common use of languages or the self-government during a period in the past. This can even be more complicated to explain, since so many different kinds of political distributions have been developed into Spain geographic boarders. We can say we have been Romans or Al-Andaluz or any other political organisation throughout history.
What happened in Catalonia is based on those out of sense principles I introduced, Catalonian politicians and business organisation, are selling the social peace to get their own benefit. The Spanish population - Catalonian included - is very easy to convince by means of exaltation propaganda. If you were based in more than a wedding to analysed Spanish society behaviour, you would have realised that behind the hate among regions, there is a personal and individual interest of those that would be really benefitial of confrontation - I mean overall, politicians. Of course, with a more deep Spanish society analysis, you would have recognised much more analogies than differences between Spanish regions beyond a unbalanced tax distribution.
Ibai Argüeso - Canary Islands, Spain
You have clearly managed to grasp the zeitgeist in today's Catalonia. Catalan people are fed up of putting up with Castillian's rule and await the time to leave that they can leave it behind to rot - and proclaim independence.
Jaume - Barcelona, Catalonia
Catalonia doesn't want independence. The political racket threatens with it in order to obtain further concessions. In fact, there have been illegal but nevertheless failed votes held asking the population of Catalonia whether they desired independence. To the embarrassment of organisers, the independence lost. Besides, Catalonia has exercised its self determination throughout the centuries by being enthusiastic Spaniards and taken advantage of captive markets and the crown mercantile protectionism.
In addition to that, Catalans have migrated, intermarried and so on freely throughout Spain and its colonies. Never having had a state of its own or any interest in it, the XX century fantasies of independence are born of ignorance of history and bad faith plus something even more sinister such as serving the perfidious wishes of a partition of Spain by our enemies - France and England.
Daniel A. Jaimen - Madrid
I agree in the solidarity principle for which any region should pay more taxes to the rest of the state in order to keep an average richness level all around the state.
But it makes no sense that Catalonia aports a 9 per cent of its PIB and as a result, it does not reach the average rate of money for inhabitant, and even the helped regions have a higher level than Catalonia. Now, Catalonia will need a bail-out from Spain. It really makes no sense.
And all this if we just talk about money. But apart from that, we are continuously underestimed and even insulted.
People who is not from Spain, should take into account where is the people who say independence is not a significant movement from. Just need to have a look, for example, to the comments in this site.
Núria - Sabadell, Catalunya
Catalonia does want independence. Otherwise, 51 per cent of Catalans would not have admitted they would vote for independence should a referendum be called in Catalonia tomorrow, as per the last survey. That means about 75 per cent positive votes because in referendums, abstention does not count. The percentage is growing by the day. If some Spaniards want to live in denial, they are free to do so; better laughs we will make when the time arrives. In fact, support for independence has multiplied since the hard-core Spanish discourse has taken power in Madrid, not that Socialists were better than PP, but as the latter have stomped against Catalonia, in a time where Catalan's sensitivity is high, - they are seen as one of the causes of the surge of separatism.
PP are trying to erase any sign of Catalan differentiation within Spain. Language, culture, laws, traditions and of course money have to be Spanish.I would like to see all those Spaniards who deny the increase in support for independence to go and spend a few days in Catalonia and taste in their own flesh what "being Catalan" means to Spain. Somebody said that Catalans pay "first-class taxes" to receive "second-class services". I would add that Catalans pay more than first-class citizens to be treated like third-class slaves.
And finally, I would like to talk about money. It has been published by the Spanish government that Catalonia "gives" around 9 per cent of its GDP to Spain through the concept of territorial solidarity. In Catalonia - the government is unable to pay the salaries of civil servants, doctors and nurses and now, all those contractors of social services that look after the disabled, elderly or chronically ill people.
Do you still think that being Spanish is profitable for Catalonia?
Jordi Margalef - Worthing, UK
A vote cannot make anything legitimate, no matter what. People's will is not above justice, natural rights, the commitment of countless previous generations etc. For Catalonia to be independent -assuming that the majority even wanted that - they will have to pay back to Spain for centuries of unfair commercial advantages that the Catalonian burgeoises happily accepted as enthusiastic Spaniards. Are they ready to do that? I don't think so.
Centuries selling products to captive markets in our colonies, immigrating to the rest of Spain and so on cannot be dissolved by the whim of a generation or two. If they really want to talk about money, they must take everything into account. We will not be swindled. The current transfers fiscal transfers may just amount to a fraction of the capital formation they afforded only because of them being Spaniards.
Besides, the fiscal woes of Catalonia are the result of a mafia-like political class, the same that waves the flag of independence to rally behind them and blindfold the very constituents of them; which should be, instead, controlling the Catalonia regional public accounts. Why do all independentists refuse to talk about the blunder vote organised by Catalonian towns, anyway? I know the English want to "divide and conquer" Spain now but, at least, respect the basic elements of truth since you are not necessarily publishing for your own home consumption and others may read it.
Daniel A. Jaimen - Madrid
What Independence? Going bankrupt and asking the central government for an economic rescue is not Independence. This is how Catalonia`s politicians want independence? Does it really mean that Catalans want it? So can Catalonia be Independence? I don`t think so.
Jorge G. - Spain
I had to read three times the first sentence by Mr Jaimen, because I could not believe what it was in front of my very eyes. The spectrum of dictatorship appears to anybody with a little common sense.
Dictatorship is a common political regime in Castilian Spain, where in the 19th century it happened with hundreds of "pronunciamientos" -mini coup-d'etats - sometimes even three in a day. The Spanish military is experienced in solving political problems by coming out from the headquarters and initiating the appropriate reforms to the political system, so that nothing changes, or if it does - it takes the appropriate directions and channels. The last time it happened was in 1981.
Knowing this history, it is not strange that Mr Jaimen and hundreds of thousands of other Spaniards want to follow the steps of their ancestors and repeat it as much as they can; with disregard of the changes in history.
In their minds, Spain is still the empire where 'the sun never sets', as it was in times of Philip II in the 16th century. However, Spain is only retaining a few colonies now and entered the European Union and the NATO at the end of the 20th Century. What would be most legitimate than a vote, in a ballot-box on an election day? Would they prefer bullets and hand grenades, instead?
I remind them that the Spanish armies have also been victims of the spending cuts, and their most 'elite' units are away on NATO and UN missions overseas, so I doubt the state of fitness of the remaining army bodies.
Nevertheless, this is the stereotypical Spanish answer to any thread. Take a look at their evolution of thought. A decade ago, when support for independence was a lot smaller, the Spanish answer was that Catalonia was self-determining at every election. Now, when support for independence is more than obvious, and a majority, there comes the threat of the coming army and their tanks.
Moreover, let's talk about ignorance, as the commercial balances between Spain and Catalonia have changed like never before. Spain is not the main buyer of Catalan goods any longer, even though they are subsidised by Catalan money. The Spanish economy has come to a halt - nobody can buy anything and even if they do, it is not products from Catalonia as there seems to be a permanent boycott on Catalan produce.
Nevertheless, Catalans exports to the EU and beyond have risen so much so that Spain, for the first time in recent history is just a customer. Why do we have to concentrate in an impoverished country in crisis?
With regards to our parasite political class, Spain can keep all the Catalan oligarchy, whose only worry is to maintain privileges and gains - exploiting Catalonia and waiving every now and then the Catalan flag to make themselves look like they are bothered by the problems suffered by their own people.
After all these years, Catalans have had enough, and have found that independence is the way to sort out the problems that Catalonia is suffering from the Spanish government. We shall prevail. Just remember that.
Jordi Margalef - Worthing, UK
Catalonia is not Spain.
Marc Sabates - Barcelona, Catalunya
For Jordi Margalef. I noticed that, even though you say you have read my posts, you conveniently avoid the key issues I put forward. 1) People's will or the right to self-determination is not the supreme law of the land - much less superseding natural law and basic principles of justice - ever except in tyrannical or populist regimes. I hope you agree with this before we can go on and develop the pertinent logical consequences for the matter we are here dealing with.
Otherwise, you need to revise your knowledge of political science and law. 2) The last referendum organised by the most vocal separatists/enclave municipalities in Catalonia was a major blunder for the organisers. 3) There is, of course, a logical gap between a scenario of pretend or perceived unfairness and the historical formation of states and nations.
Nevertheless, economic reasoning is much broader than the infantile two stroke argument of we 'sell more now to others' or 'we pay more in taxes'. Obviously, you don't have anything to say regarding centuries of protectionism enjoyed by the Catalonian mercantile class. On moral grounds, it is just shameful (and the same applies to the Basques) that the Catalonian bourgeois turn around now to run away with the money - when they feel is no longer to their arbitrary advantage. So, you were ok while a parasite of the very empire you now find loathsome?
4) Not to fall into the stereotype, but I have to remind your kind that the cash is not everything. If it wasn't because of the Crown of Aragon and Spain, you wouldn't even exist today as a people today. Just look into what today is the Rosellon or the whole of the Occitan-speaking areas in what today is Southern France. He who isn't grateful is not well born.
5) I haven't said a word in support of military regimes. Don't make up your interlocutor or your opponent's position. An intelligent discussion cannot be carried out by automatic pilots. Neither it can be a gratuitous exchange of malicious and groundless accusations. Interestingly, the military pronouncements of the XIX century Spain had were inspired by liberal ideas against the absolutism and unrestricted monarchical legitimismn that you detest. Please, review history.
Please, believe your eyes this time. These are real arguments you need to deal with and denial is not a real option. I am discussing this matter with you because I recognise the understanding must be tried first even when one feels that the use of coercion - as a last resort - is a legitimate one.
It is all too common to see radical small groups talking in the name of the 'people'. It is weird how some of the proponents of the most unpopular ideas still scream for 'democracy'. But again, this is the delusion those unable or unwilling to practice dialogue-building are prone to. I am Madridian, of Andalusian stock, a direct descendant of the Kings of Aragon and Counts of Barcelona - with the roots of the Basque and Celtic areas of Spain etc.
I am one among millions of similar cases. On moral grounds, I cannot tolerate any ablation of Spain under any circumstances that degenerate, vile, perfidious, resented politicians may perpetrate riding in the backs of a fluoride head and TV-hypnotised zombies - chanting mind numbing political mantras.
Daniel A. Jaimen Navarrete - Madrid
For Mr Jamiel. Again, your first sentence. Go and tell Kosovars, the latest independence in Europe for the time being, what you say about natural law, political science and other concepts are only understandable for very knowledgeable and studious. I recommend you begin your speech with these words 'Spanish law says that' and start running.
That said, Catalonia will be independent, again regardless of what Spanish law dictates. If 51 per cent of Catalans would vote today for independence (that represents around 75 per cent of positive votes in a referendum), and the percentage is growing day by day, Catalonia will be independent.
This is a clear concept that you, like any normal Spaniard, do not seem to understand. Catalonia has tried to explain Spain to the Spaniards for about 150 years, with great and prominent Catalan personalities spending a lot of time and energy trying to modernise Spain; updating it to a level similar to France and England. They have all failed.
The Spanish way of thinking is still anchored in 1492 and the jewels of Queen Isabella. Beyond this concept, everything is part of the twilight zone and must be disposed of. The result is what we see today, a pretend unity with a number of 'pains in the back side' - politically and economically paralysed, like before.
Please revise what you know of Northern Catalonia, because you might find surprises. In what sense are they bad? I do not follow your thought here. Are you talking about unemployment, GDP of the region? Are you talking of the historical development of infrastructures, state of the Catalan language, perhaps?
Anyhow, when we look at what has happened to Catalonia and its people, we see a unique case in history. Not many other cultures have survived similar attacks, genocides, prosecutions, deportations, collective punishments, exiles and still their people recognise themselves as a differentiated nation. I sense that you query yourself about what could have happened if France would have colonised Catalonia instead of Spain. The answer to that you can find, online if you like, during the Napoleonic wars in the early 19th century.
What is mainly the territory of the autonomous community of Catalonia today was part of the Republic of France, not the Kingdom of Spain, and during the years of French rule - the Catalan language was official in the territory; something unseen since the defeat of the Catalan armies during the Succession War a century earlier.
You speak of ridicule of the last vote. The last vote was organised by Barcelona's own town hall and the question asked was related to the tram. That consultation was a disgrace, because a few milion euros from taxpayers' money were wasted unnecessarily - with a lot of flaws in the voting system and very minimal participation. A lot less participation than the vote for independence that was called some weeks before.
We must remind people that the votes for independence were not official, organised by citizens and civilian organisations only, and a very small budget if we compare with an electoral campaign that counts with full political parties, mass media and official institutions.
You perhaps qualify this gesture as a failure, but until you demonstrate that something similar can be organised by you - with the same means and gaining more responses, I define these ballots as one of the more successful event ever happened in modern history worldwide. Obviating that Spaniards have demonstrated to be the champions of the squander and frivolity, of course.
And what is your obsession against the Catalans voting, pacifically, in elections? Are we hurting you in any sense? It must bother you since you talk overtly about coertion being legitimate, as an example of well understood democracy. Once more, Catalonia will be independent soon. Regardless what is written in the Spanish law.
Mr. Anonymous, I am not ashamed of my arguments and that's why I use my real name. I don't think you need to be particularly educated to understand what I quickly sketched regarding the fundamental ideas of legitimacy in its relation to elections and people's vote but, how we grade the level of education needed is; in last analysis, immaterial since, at the end, you either understand these questions or you don't.
If you don't, then you try to understand them first, before you put forward publicly an opinion; if only out of self respect. Or you think democracy means that anyone can open their mouth to utter their unprocessed, impulsive, and fuzzy notions and be proud of it? Do you really think that the relative complexity of these matters can be set aside for some whimsical 51 per cent rule? Absolutely not. Ancient democracy was tied to the education of the citizen as an agent of political discourse. Obviously, fake contemporary democracies rest upon the marketing manipulation of those who - if push comes to shove - confess their ignorance. That's why the vote of people with ridiculously simple ideas is not worth much.
As a matter of logical precedence, what is legitimate and what is not - and why - must be elaborated and theorised before determining what kind of legitimacy confers the vote on a particular decision. That's why there are constitutions since ancient times. It is within this theoretical framework how the limitations and qualifications to the right to self determination come about: territorial integrity, entity and identity of the so claimed "people".
The right to self determination concept was developed for -say- an African territory colonised by a European power. Not for a centuries old blend resulting from a centuries old dynastic union. You and your kind have chosen - for reasons we could look into - to assume a simplistic one to one correspondence and implication between people's vote and legitimacy.
That simply ignores all wisdom and knowledge on the key issue of legitimacy. In the case of Kosovo, what we have is a historical example of event, not a rule to follow. Not because it happened, it should have happened. You can't derive a value judgement from an observation. Or can independentist Catalonians defy and upset logical universal rules by virtue of a 51 per cent vote? I don't think so.
Furthermore, Kosovo's independence shows how NATO is not here to respect international or domestic law but, instead, enforce the double standards of the Empire. Otherwise, they could hold a referendum in Aztlan. And of course, within the Serbian ares of Kosovo. The Americans took Kosovo. Now the Russians take Abkhazia or Southern Ossetia. That's all.
You seem to keep ignoring some key statements that I'll reword in an analogy for your convenience or to give you the benefit of the doubt with respect to how I cast my propositions: in divorce proceedings, the hardest part is the division of the common wealth. Catalonia's wealth doesn't just belong to Catalonia but to the whole set of Spaniards the Catalonians have, in turn, a share of.
You made money on us. If you truly wanted the independence, you will have to pay us back for centuries of commercial protectionism. Why do you refuse to examine actual economic history? Yes, Catalonian subnationalism or separatism hurts the truth and the legitimate interests of Spain by denying us a fair compensation for everything Catalonia got out of us.
Additionally, Spain never colonised Catalonia. If anything, Catalonians freely intermarried and migrated through Spain and its territories. Can you provide a date when Catalonia was ever an independent State that was invaded by Spanish forces? Nobody can because it never happened. Don't make up history. It is true that by doing so you put yourself in evidence and adds to the discredit of your thesis but it gets old and heavy. We engage in dialogue because we think we can get somewhere under fair play and not having to waste time with makeshift marginal, anti-historical, and poorly constructed mythologies around our own origins as a nation.
Northern Catalonia has been culturally massacred. Do not lie to yourself. The GDP per person of the whole of Southern France is lower than that of most areas of bordering Northern Spain. In fact, Paris is vary wary of the influence of Barcelona or Bilbao, not to mention ancient ethnic ties between the Aquitania and Basques or Catalonia and the Occitan speaking areas; in other words the strong Iberian character of what today is Southern France. Limiting the road points of entry across the Pyrenees is part of that fear.
Catalonia has never been part of France. Not even when it was temporarily invaded during the Napoleonic wars. At best, the Marca Hispanica had as an overlord Charlesmagne but that was before Catalonia as such existed. Coercion, by the way, is used by legitimate democratic governments all the time. It is one of the prerogatives of governments. If you think that democracies must be weaklings, you need to go back to school.
As an expression of a legitimate peoples' will (as opposed to a non legitimate one), a democracy must be strong. The referendum on independence held in Catalonia by many town halls was well organised and had sufficient means. That has nothing to do with the pitiful turn out. Please explain, unless you mean you didn't have enough money to buy attendance because everyone knew about it. It was all over the media. It was funny to see all the excitement of the media turn into embarrassment and avoidance the next day.
Daniel A. Jaimen Navarrete - Madrid
The comment signed as 'Anonymous' belongs to me. I don't know why it has not been signed.
Jordi Margalef - Worthing, UK
Sorry but I disagree with lots of things that you say in this article. Catalonia doesn't want independence and wants to be together with the other people of Spain. I'm Catalan and like Pau Gasol said jus days days ago: I'm Spanish as well I'm Catalan. That's the opinion of lots of important people of our history. Companys, Macià, Tarradellas, Prior escarré, Salvador Espriu, Joan Maragall, Mn. Cinto Verdaguer etc.
Of course there some problems, like in other countries and in Catalonia, but theses are not difficulties that we cannot pass through all together. Thanks a lot. Miquel Solé
Miquel Solé - Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
You can't argue with ignorance. Generally when people argue, they argue by comparing the facts that they have. The person whose facts are more compelling wins the argument. An ignorant person does not know any facts. A person who argues with no facts argues with emotion or opinion based on nothing that can be checked or verified by the other side.
It is not possible to argue against nothing (no facts). So while a person who has no facts to bolster his argument can continue arguing, it is a fruitless argument; hence, you can't argue with ignorance. The ignorant person may walk away from an argument believing himself or herself to have won - not because he or she had the better argument based on facts that could be checked by the other side - but because he or she used opinion or feelings to bolster his or her 'argument'. Cataluña es España.
No name left
I want just to remember that the Catalan flag is the flag of the Kingdom of Aragon. That means we were together a long time ago and even before the marriage of Isabella of Castilia and Ferdinand the 2nd of Aragon. Let's remember Hispania, the Kingdom of the visigotian and so on.
Marco - España
Who or what is 'Catalonia'? This is the qüestion. I was born in Barcelona, 41 years ago. I´m not 'Catalonian'. We´re Spanish people and our national future will be decided with all Spanish people's votes, not only with the votes of two million nationalists that believe in a non-existent country.
Willi - Barcelona, Spain
Well, Catalonia will be independent if that is the democratic wish of the majority of Catalans. Or will Spain oppose guns, powder and armies in front of votes and ballots? Anyway, I do not read anywhere in your comments about the increase of the support for independence within Catalonia, especially since the celebration of the polls for independence - a success for some like me, a failure for others.
But there is nothing like letting people from around the world see the same stereotypes we had to suffer from Spain. We, Catalans are selfish, tight-fisted, revengeful, thieves and speak Catalan only to annoy Spain. We only think of work, all day every day and how to make money.
Instead, Spain is the land of good sun, good wine, heat, siesta, bullfighting and sandy beaches. If I left some, please add them to the list. We are supposed to feed Spain and they are supposed to save our soul. Be it through the Holy Inquisition or the Holy Constitution, sacred and unchangeable only when it concerns to Catalan matters.
Should we divert from saving Spain, to save us? Spain is forced to bomb Barcelona every 50 years, the sentence first pronounced by General Espartero in 1842, and later repeated and put in practice by other significant Spanish personalities. As you can imagine, the meaning of coercion is 'slightly' different for Catalans than Spanish. In part, because Catalonia has never bombarded a Spanish city.
Although considering Mr Jamiel's comments, about legitimacy of coercion, perhaps they - Spain - needed some. When we initiate our democratic secession, it will not mean it will be lacking in institutional confrontation. Fonts of the Spanish Ministry of Finances, quantify in 9 per cent of the Catalan GDP the net 'contribution to solidarity' to Spain. There were complaints from Catalan politicians and businessmen in the mid 19th Century that you will never recognise as such. Although, about the unfair taxing system in Spain and Catalonia - these people were only looking for fair treatment within the Spanish borders but they took very little to convince themselves that fairness is an unknown concept in the typical Spanish mind. Of course, we should ask for that money back, in the same way that Germany will ask for repayments once their bail-out of Spain is due. In the usual way, you talk about 'states' and sovereignty. The concept of the 'state' was born during the French revolution, way after the invasion of Spain of Catalonia culminated in 1715. Rather well successfully initiated, but not very well completed because after Spain's best efforts to eliminate Catalonia we still exist. And we will resurge to become independent, regardless of what your understanding of democracy and percentages is.
Did you really think the polls for independence were well financed and promoted? They never had public money and the Catalan media remained mostly silent until the phenomenon was too big to hide. Even the Spanish prosecutor for the state initiated procedures to ban them. The only good promotion of these polls came from the ridicule and Falange demonstrating with 10 people against them. I wonder how resilient Spanish would have remained if they had suffered the attacks Catalonia has had to endure in the last 300 years and still be able to call themselves 'Spanish'? Just a thought.
Jordi Margalef - Worthing, UK
Catalonia is going to achieve full independence in no more than two years. The chain of events for that to happen has been triggered by the Spanish government and its difficulties in leading a multicultural country such as Spain. The Spanish pride that they have always claimed to be so strong is and has been historically their worst enemy. Now it's time fo them to face an overwhelming victory for the Catalan country.
A catalan - Catalonia
"We don't want to live on our knees within Spain when we could stand on our own feet in Europe." With what Spain takes from Catalonia each year, in two or three years we could wipe all our regional debt. Yet, they are blaming us for Spanish public deficits when only 35 per cent of Spanish budget deficit has its origin in regions. What the heck are they doing in Madrid to generate 65 per cent of the deficit, when police, education and healthcare all rely on regions' budgets?
Catalonia not Spain - Barcelona
Solidarity? Not at all. If I don't pay, the Spanish police come to my home. All over the world only, in Spain's case solidarity is compulsory and you can not decide how or much you can or want contribute. And curiously, a minority (Catalan-speaking regions) feeds the majority.
Arnau Estanyol - Barcelona, Catalonia
It is funny seeing how many non-Catalans like to pontificate about what Catalans want and how the situations in Catalonia looks - having probably hardly ever been in Catalonia. Just check where they write from and you will realise how well informed they are on the real situation on the ground. It is just as if I passed judgement on the solution for the Greek crisis, having been there a couple of times in my life.
Their opinion on the matter probably comes from reading Spanish national media, which is traditionally anti-Catalan, and this can be noted by the arguments used. Catalan aspiration for independence is not real, just "XX century fantasies" and due to the ambition of Catalan politicians to achieve more power. This is really a funny thought. Most of Spaniards believe that Catalonia was "invented" during the 30s of the last century and that Catalans speak in Catalan just to feel different.
Of course, the fact that Catalonia exist for more than 1.000 years is not known to many Spaniards because their history books totally omit any mention to Catalan history. Me, travelling through Spain very often with my children I have experienced this phenomenon. A taxi driver overheard once my children speaking among themselves in Catalan and exclaimed: Oh, so young and already speaking Catalan?
Or another time a taxi driver heard me speaking with a friend from Barcelona on the phone in Catalan, turned angrily to me and shouted: "This is my taxi, this is Spain and in my taxi and in Spain you must speak in Spanish." I paused for a moment, looked coldly to him and said: "But I am speaking in Italian." And he answered: "Ah, it's OK then."
Raskolnikov - Catalonia
This is a good article, I agree. What I find unacceptable are the commentaries of Mr. Danial A. Jaimen, because are not according to history. The Catalan counties were independent from the 10th century until the 1714 when the Spanish King Felipe V abolished the constitutions of our nation and Catalans were forced to accept the Spanish authority, paying extremely high taxes.
The same happens now. We are paying more and we don't get enough - less than other regions in Spain. However, we are defending our rights as a nation. That is, the language, in particular, which is being underestimated by the Spanish government. We know that now only an independent country will defend our rights.
I hope the world can support us in our road to be a Catalan state the soonest. Visca Catalunya lliure.
Rosa - Catalonia
Catalonia wants independence. It's not only for the money that people of Spain are taking from them, it's for our language, our culture. It's not the same. We aren't Spanish, the problem is that they can't understand this.
Alba - Lleida-Catalunya
It's funny canarian, you don't pay a lot of taxes - easy talk about egoism. LOL.
Guerau - Barcelona, Catalunya
I am a Catalan, I was not an independentist and now I am. We are fed up of being deprived of the wealth we produce, about a 10 per cent every year. This is not given back in service to us and this sums up the economical crisis. Perversly, Spanish politicians now begin to blame Catalonia for causing the current economic crisis in Spain because we have the deepest levels of debt.
Catalan businessmen have analysed the situation and proved that if the tax imbalance was corrected, we wouldn't suffer the level of indebtedness we currently do. Spain wants our wealth but does not respect our language nor our Identity. There is no solution for us with them. Better poor alone than poor because of being exploited by others.
We are working people and if left alone, we will strive to overcome all of our difficulties. We want to be an independent country again. More people give up to fear every day, as I've done. Catalonia wants to be free.
Isabel - Catalonia
As an outsider, I'm an American, it's long been clear to me that Catalonia is nation state that has been submerged within the Spanish Castilian state. The Castilians and Catalan are two uneasy tribes sharing different parts of the Iberian peninsula. There is no resolution short of differentiation or assimilation. Period.
Jan Reinhart - New Jersey, United States
For me, Catalonia is not Spain.
Cintia - Barcelona, Catalonia
I support Catalonia with its independence request. At first I didn't support it, but since some years ago, I hate the central government. It is full of thieves that cover themselves. In another country, those people would be prosecuted! Why in this country don't people don't prosecute? I really understand the reasons that people that want to leave the Spanish ship. A ship full of suit and tie criminals. You have my support, if the referendum of Catalonian independence was made in the whole Spain - I'd say 'yes'.
Alex - Murcia, Spain
I'm 60 years old. I never thought I could be calling for Catalonia independence as I did recently during 11-S. The reason for so big change in my mind? The arrogant Spanish centralism, ignoring and denying our own culture besides the fiscal treatment (tax spoliation). The result: I don't feel Spanish.
Carles Pages - Arenys de Mar, Barcelona
Nobody will help us. Catalonia's freedom will only be achieved by ourselves, don't be fooled. No other countries will do it for us. Spain will not move its military but the police and the foreign countries will state our 'situation' as an internal Spanish affair. Either we riot now and then, or we won't get nothing. My two cents.
jvquarck - Barcelona