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Why Europeans View Scottish and Catalan Secession Differently Than Brexit

•, by Bill Wirtz

Last week, the Spanish constitutional court decided to put a fine of over $14,000 on the organizers of the Catalonian independence referendum, for every day that it continues. Prior to this decision, thousands of referendum ballots had been seized by the central government, as Spain considers its rebellious region to behave unconstitutionally. Catalonia, currently a part of the Spanish Kingdom, has been seeking independence from the Iberian state for almost 100 years now, with no indication that Madrid will ever allow to let them leave. As a matter of fact, Spain would lose 6 percent of its territory, 16 percent of its population, more than half of its start-up investments, and 20 percent of its GDP.

Far more interesting than the actual struggle for independence is the incoherent position of EU-advocates towards this issue. Across Europe, most people seem to sympathize with the Catalan secessionists. While the EU has vowed to not intervene in the independence dispute, the European public seems to have picked a side in this fight, especially since the Spanish government has shown to be particularly stubborn. The Scottish National Party (SNP), which was a major contributor in organizing the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, is also a major supporter of Catalan secession, as it would increase its own chances of being heard in the United Kingdom. Famous Scottish secessionist Alex Salmond even vowed his support on Twitter, by holding a sign saying, "Si."

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