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  • Hey Geogra-peeps, so me and my mom are back from the heritage trip, it's good to see you again.

  • This is gonna be another filler week, and I kind of wanted to discuss something

  • That's a little controversial - that a lot of you have been emailing me and messaging me about:

  • Catalonia.

  • And many of you have asked me: "Hey Barbs, is Geography Now

  • gonna do a Catalonia video? are we gonna cover Catalonia? What about Catalonia?"

  • As of Friday, October 27th the Catalonian people have voted to declare themselves independent.

  • So that means we have to do a Catalonia video right? Well my definitive answer is: I don't know yet.

  • Declaring independence is not the only criteria for becoming a nation. There's a lot of steps and protocol

  • you kind of have to follow, but first of all let's just kind of explain what's going on.

  • What is Catalonia and what is going on and how did it become what it is today?

  • It's a little complicated, but in the best way

  • I can I'll try to explain.

  • First of all, long ago Catalonia was separate from the rest of what is now modern-day Spain in the region of Aragon.

  • In the year 1150 Queen Petronilia of

  • Aragon married the count of Barcelona which basically merged all the regions that their son would inherit.

  • Then in 1707 Catalonia tried to secede again,

  • but then there was a war in Valencia, another in Catalonia seven years later

  • and after the remaining islands were taken, the modern-day of what is now Spain was complete

  • Nonetheless, Catalonia has always kind of been like the rebel of all the regions, to some extent the Basque Country too,

  • But that's a whole other story that we'll have to cover some other time.

  • They have their own language, cuisine, traditions, holidays, festivals, customs, everything you name it.

  • So basically since the modern state of Spain was established,

  • the subsequent Spanish government has always kind of had a little bit of difficulty managing and implementing Spanish law in this region

  • until they finally just kind of threw up their hands and were like "okay fine!"

  • In the 30s and 70s, they were like "we're just gonna give you autonomy."

  • Now here's where the numbers come in and it might give you a little bit more of an insight as to how things came to be.

  • Catalonia has long been the industrial maritime heartland for Spain, having a coast along the Mediterranean

  • They excel in finance and tourism and high-tech services as well. This in return makes them one of the wealthiest regions of Spain

  • accounting for about a fifth of the overall GDP at about 315 million.

  • That's about on par with Madrid. Their economy is more than the entire

  • economies of Portugal or Hong Kong. Their GDP per capita is about 35 K

  • Which makes them wealthier than South Korea, Italy, or Israel so you can probably guess how they reacted after the financial crisis of the late

  • 2000s - especially the rich. For a long time they've kind of felt like their flourishing

  • Economic output has kind of been like a crutch for the rest of the regions of Spain.

  • Nonetheless, this guy comes in, the president of Catalonia, he calls for a referendum. The Senate approves.

  • Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy is not happy.

  • He calls it an unconstitutional, and they should have kind of left it at that

  • but then things kind of took a turn for the worse. The Spanish government came in and

  • deliberately tried to use force to stop people from going to polling stations, seizing pamphlets, posters and in some cases things escalated to violence.

  • Now after declaring independence, Spain's Senate has invoked article 155 - the never before used article from the 1978 Constitution.

  • Which grants full power to the government to take over Catalonia.

  • So what does that all mean and where do we stand in terms of Catalonia's sovereignty?

  • Well it isn't quite easy to say because just wanting and declaring to be independent is not quite enough. There's a lot of things that go into this.

  • I mean let's look at the last example of a state that seceded from another bigger country South Sudan and Sudan.

  • One of the biggest differences in this case is that South Sudan was able to prove that they have been historically marginalized

  • Over a long period of time. They were able to convince the international community and Sudan that there was no other better alternative option other

  • than secession both the country Sudan and the seceding country South Sudan voted and even Sudan

  • voted that they could secede. So even though the whole situation was kind of messed up to begin with there was actually a lot of cooperation.

  • This is not exactly quite what we see with Catalonia. Spain really does not want to give up Catalonia.

  • I mean sure maybe Catalonia would have the means to maintain their own government and social structures,

  • however what would it look like for them in terms of international policy and diplomacy? When I was on the Heritage trip

  • I actually talked to quite a few Europeans

  • and they have kind of mixed feelings about

  • Catalonia. See the problem that a lot of European citizens have with Catalonia is that they don't want the EU to start crumbling.

  • They want it to be unified, hence European Union. When stuff like this happens

  • It doesn't quite look that good for the EU.

  • But then again you have some people that are totally down for the Catalonia independence movement and if Catalonia did get independence it means that

  • They would have to restructure everything from square one. It means that would have to do a lot of paperwork

  • They would have to do a lot of outreach

  • They would have to build embassies

  • And they would have to do

  • Diplomats and all that other crazy stuff that ensues. If they did secede it means that they would have to figure out a way to

  • Pay off the fifty-two billion dollars that they owe to the central Spanish administration

  • Which might be a little awkward?

  • Also, by law any state that secedes from a current existing EU member state immediately loses their EU status

  • And they would have to reapply which might take a lot of time if they even want to join again.

  • Which I'm guessing they probably would and that would cost just a whole other level of money and time and then they have to be

  • recognized, there's this thing called constitutional and declarative theory in which it kind of states that in order to be a state

  • You kind of have to be recognized by other states. In the end all I can really say is

  • I don't know what's gonna happen, and it's a little too early right now. As you know here at Geography Now

  • we cover the internationally recognized fully sovereign member states of the UN

  • alphabetically, so if Catalonia can achieve this and become a full member of the UN recognized by enough states and build up diplomatic ties then

  • Yes, we will cover Catalonia here on Geography Now

  • But if they cannot, then you will have to wait after Zimbabwe when we cover the disputed autonomous and constituent nations.

  • I will just leave it at that.

  • Stay cool stay tuned.

Hey Geogra-peeps, so me and my mom are back from the heritage trip, it's good to see you again.


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加泰羅尼亞是怎麼回事?(現在的地理!) (What is up with Catalonia? (Geography Now!))

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日