By: Olivia Wile
On Wednesday, Oct. 1, Catalonia’s parliament voted to separate from Spain. In the month following, the region has since declared its independence from the country, an announcement that has not gone without controversy.
According to Fox News’ article, “Catalonia pushes for independence from Spain: What to know,” 90% of the 2.3 million people in Catalonia voted to leave Spain. Supporters of the decision believe Catalonia has given more to the Spanish government than they have received.
Among supporters of the decision include Sergi Sola, a Senior at the University of Findlay who is from Spain.
“When you choose democracy, it’s always a win,” Sola stated.
The Barcelona native and member of the UF track team, explains that Catalonia has its own way of life. “In Catalonia, we have our own language, traditions, and culture,” Sola said. “[We have] a powerful economy within Spain. We want to protect our nation.”
This decision has not gone without causing problems, however. Fox reports that 900 people were treated for injuries after voting became violent when citizens of Catalonia clashed with Spanish police. Sola explains that even those who do not support independence still feel betrayed by such acts
“Well, the people feel very sad, very forsaken by the Spanish government,” Sola said. “This is not how you build a society in the 21st century.”
After the vote on Oct. 1, the Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy vocalized that Catalonia’s declaration of independence was not legal. He stated it was, “a clear violation of the laws, of democracy, of the rights of all, and that has consequences.”
As a result of the chaos, Catalonia’s regional president, Carles Puigdemont, has fled to Brussels for freedom and safety purposes. He only agrees to return home if a fair judicial process in Spain is granted to him.
In regards to how he hopes to see the situation resolve, Sola believes that an outside force could be beneficial.
“What they hope is people around the world are getting interested in Catalonia,” Sola said, “[for] their push, their own government to start doing something about it.”