IBT. Catalonia is Not Spain – and it is Not Scotland Either. 25.04.2013
Earlier this month, Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, was asked whether he had discussed the subject of Catalan independence during a meeting with David Cameron. The question was borne of a widespread belief that Catalonia was simply a sun-drenched version of Scotland, and thus Barcelona’s ongoing feud with Madrid had a clear resonance in this country.
Rajoy was unequivocal. Catalonia and Scotland are “absolutely and totally different” he said curtly. For perhaps the first time, the Catalan people agreed with him: the reasons which underpin Catalonia’s desire for independence, a blend of historic, cultural, linguistic and economic factors, are unique.
Scotland may feel it is on to a winner with North Sea oil but it cannot compare with the economic power of Catalonia, and millions of Catalans feel this power is being drained by pig-headed ministers in Madrid. Although Catalonia is a self-governing community, it is forced to pay taxes to the central government – and shoulder a financial burden far greater than any other region.
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