The majority of Catalans do not want independence, although between 39% and 46% voted for separatist options (depending on the nature of the elections; regional or Spanish).
The crisis of 2008 (worldwide but even more serious in Spain) was used by the Catalan nationalist government of the time to divert attention to “Madrid” after drastic layoffs in public services in Catalonia carried out by Artur Mas (at that time head of the Catalan government) with accusations like “Spain is robbing us”… without any objective justification (the layoffs took place all over Spain and not only in Catalonia… and the bursting of the real estate bubble was even more serious in Catalonia than in other parts of Spain).
The nationalism that has governed Catalonia since 1983 has since then been carrying out a campaign of “nationalization” of consciences with a discourse of “essences” in Catalan public schools and media…………………………………………. without having a real social majority, but enjoying a majority in the Catalan parliament, this being due to an electoral law that favours the representation of rural and semi-rural areas (the metropolitan regions of Barcelona and Tarragona being under-represented in the Catalan assembly). This manipulative socialization of consciences presents Catalonia “above” the rest of Spain at the same time, “victim” of Spain, while among the large Spanish industrial groups only 3 out of 50 are Catalan (in Franco’s time Catalonia was not only the seat of all the large private companies but also of the organization of the bosses, the ministers of economy being placed by the Catalan bosses). Catalonia is no longer the most prosperous region of Spain (Madrid, Basque Country, Navarre and the Balearic Islands are ahead of it and other regions are more or less at the same level, the 40 years of Catalan autonomy not having been used by successive Catalan governments (in Spain the admin. The 40 years of Catalan autonomy have not been used by the successive Catalan governments (in Spain the regional and municipal administrators manage 76% of the budgets) to develop Catalonia further, if not to establish a state of mind through the school and the media, half “supremacist”, half “victimist”, typical of the National Populists (see Boris Jonhson-Farage, Salvini, Lega Norte etc.) that suits nationalism itself but not the citizens. For example, the nationalists (totally absent in the fight against the dictatorship, 95% of which was monopolised by the non-nationalist left, both in Catalonia and in the rest of Spain) teach children that the 1936-39 civil war took place between “Spain and Catalonia” when there were as many or more supporters (votes in the 1936 elections) of the Republic in regions such as Madrid, Andalusia, Castilla la Nueva, Extremadura, Asturias, etc., and that there was no need for the National Populist Party to be involved in the fight against the dictatorship, which was monopolised by the non-nationalist left. and that Franco’s army was received in Barcelona by tens of thousands of people with their arms raised!… . and that the number of executions, deportations and purges suffered in other regions were far greater than those suffered by the Republicans in Catalonia (without there being any justification for such “specifically Catalan” victimisation). Comment: The writer is Catalan, grandson of republican exiles and former member of the left-wing opposition against the dictatorship).
The propaganda campaign carried out by public media headed by the Catalan government promised, in the midst of the economic and social crisis, that “Europe would welcome us with open arms”, that Catalonia would become “the Denmark of the South” and that “Spain is not a true democracy because it does not accept a referendum on self-determination”. It turns out that the EU has repeatedly made it clear that ‘it does not even want to hear about a non-existent right to self-determination invoked by the separatists (and which is only recognised by international tribunals and the UN for territories under decolonisation but never in sovereign states). It also turns out that sovereignty in all constitutional democracies resides in the national parliament and the constitution (in France it is a constitutional clause that cannot be modified even by the national assembly!) and not in every part of the country… and that Spain is catalogued by the EU, “Freedom House” and the “Economist Democracy Index” as one of the 20 complete democracies (above France and Belgium, which are also ranked among the first 20).
The fact that the Right (PP) has not been able to respond to the social crisis and in 2009 challenged before the Constitutional Court the new Statute of Autonomy which at the time had been approved by the socialist governments of José Luis