Spain and Catalonia: What exactly is the problem?

It’s been in the news and at the forefront of blog post and article topics about the secession of Catalonia from Spain; the referendum held by the Catalans; the election in which pro-independence parties won the major number of seats; clashes with police during demonstrations by both pro and anti-independence protesters.
In today’s instant news and sensationalism atmosphere, it’s easy to keep getting inundated by headlines and catchy blog titles. We flip through superficial stories written by people trying to get traffic on their websites. This leads to a paucity of information and lack of in-depth knowledge about current issues.
In this short piece. We will attempt to give you a concrete idea of what’s actually happening between Spain and Catalonia backed up with a little history. We will, however, leave you to form your own opinions and draw your conclusions about the issue.
Spain and Catalonia are like an obsessed couple in a dysfunctional relationship. Going through many cycles of dating, breaking up, and reuniting.
Spain and Catalonia basically got joined through a marriage- that of Queen Isabella 1 of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. Although they ruled the territories separately, their grandson Charles I of Spain became the ruler of both lands in 1516, even becoming the emperor of Rome too after the death of Maximilian I his paternal grandfather.
The first major modern independence movement was the Catalan revolt that occurred between 1640 and 1652 where Catalonia sought French support to secede from the rule of Spanish royalty. Spain was able to regain control but allowed Catalonia to retain her rights.
Over the years, Catalonia has undergone a lot of changes in her autonomy status. Conservative dictator Franco took away Catalonia’s autonomy in 1940s after the Spanish civil war, the autonomy was gradually returned towards the end of his regime and after his death in 1975.
So, technically at the moment, Catalonia is an autonomous community with her own system of government (the Generalitat of Catalonia headed by a president), security and judicial system. But she’s still considered as being under the kingdom of Spain. The pro-independence protesters are fighting for a complete independence. A clean break in which Catalonia would stand alone and be recognized as a country in its own right. Various local and non-binding referendums have supported the push for Catalan independence from Spain.
Due to the fact that pro-independence parties had a strong presence in parliament. A binding referendum for Catalan independence was approved by the Catalan parliament in 2017. It was however declared illegal by the Spanish government and voting was done amidst violence with Spanish security forces attempting to stop the referendum from holding. At the end of the referendum, Carles Puigdemont who is the president of the Generalitat of Catalonia announced that Catalonia had become independent. The Spanish government then activated a clause in the constitution with which the Catalan government was suspended and direct rule is being administered from Spain. Carles Puigdemont has had to go on exile in Denmark with members of other pro-independence parties already in detention.
This is how things stand at the moment. In elections conducted by Spain in December 2017, pro-independence parties still retained the majority of seats in parliament. It remains to be seen whether or not they would be able to push through the secession of Catalonia from Spain

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