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Catalonia emerged as an autonomous community several hundred years ago.
Its drive for independence in modern times can be traced to the Spanish
Civil War, when the country's military dictator Francisco Franco abolished
any hopes of full autonomy. He suppressed the region's culture, language
and many civil liberties. After Franco's death in 1975, and Spain's return to
democracy, Catalonia opted to pursue more limited forms of political
control rather than full independence.
Catalonia is one of Spain's wealthiest and most productive regions
Has a distinct history dating back almost 1,000 years.
It enjoyed broad autonomy
Suppressed under decades of Gen Francisco Franco's dictatorship from 1939-75.
When Franco died, Catalan nationalism was revived and eventually the north-
eastern region was granted autonomy again(under the 1978 constitution.)
A 2006 statute granted even greater powers, boosting Catalonia's financial clout and
describing it as a "nation"
Spain's Constitutional Court reversed much of this in 2010, to the anger of the
regional authorities.
autonomy watered down as well as by years of recession and cuts in public spending
Catalans held an unofficial vote on independence in November 2014.
More than two million of the region's 5.4 million eligible voters took part and
officials declared that 80% had backed secession.
Separatists won Catalonia's election in 2015
set to work on holding a binding referendum, defying Spain's constitution,
which states that Spain is indivisible.
Major reason Catalonia wants to
secede is economic
Catalonias development compared to the rest
of Spain
Economic grievances are said to be one of the main motivations behind the
independence movement.
Many Catalan nationalists believe Catalonia is being dragged down
economically by other regions, fueling their desire for independence.
These six charts, based on data from Eurostat, show how the region
compares to the countrys average in terms of life expectancy,
employment, GDP, business, agriculture and research and development.
Credit to euronew
Catalonia has the highest GDP out of all the regions in Spain, and at 266 billion
euros, almost one-fifth of the countrys economic output.
Economics professor Elisenda Paluzie said Catalan residents represent about 16
percent of the countrys population.
Yet these same residents contribute 20 percent of Spains taxes
Receive 14 percent back for public expenses.
If it were to secede, they lose a territory thats relatively rich and contributes a lot
to taxes.
Paluzie said the 2008 economic crisis helped increase separatist sentiment in
Catalonia the region experienced the highest budget cuts. Then, in 2010,
Catalonia sought a statute that would have allowed it to collect its own
taxes much like the system in another autonomous region of Spain, the
Basque Country. The Spanish government rejected that.
It was seen as an aggression to the capacity of Catalans that had done
everything under the legal way, she said.