Catalonia, a region in Spain that is centered on the metropolitan city of Barcelona, voted on the issue of independence today. The Spanish government is indicating that they are not honoring the vote regardless of the outcome and have ruled the vote to be unconstitutional. The Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, has asked the region to return to normalcy and end the insanity that is the vote. Artur Mas, Catalan leader, has urged that the vote not be interrupted and that any attempts to disrupt the vote would be a rebuke of democracy.
Catalonia has over 7.5 million people in the region and many of the local population consider themselves to be part of a separate nation Brad Reifler tells me with their own distinct language and culture. Catalonia became part of Spain with the merger of the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon that occurred with the marriage between Ferdinand and Isabelle in the 15th Century.
Voters are being asked if a separate Catalan State should be created and if the state should be independent of Spain. The vote is likely to be supported by Catalan voters as the region is one of Spain’s wealthiest and pays more taxes to support the rest of the country than they receive. Rallies have been held by both sides before the vote and some minor violence was reported between contesting parties. Both sides are hoping the vote is civil and no violence breaks out.