Catalonia Separatism Revives a Long-Dormant Spanish Nationalism

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tags: Spain, Catalonia, Separatism



Thumbnail Image -  By Màrius Montón - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Related Link Catalonia's referendum unmasks authoritarianism in Spain

Nationalism has always been a tricky thing for Spain. The dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco, died in 1975. Only three years afterward did the country embrace a democratic Constitution.

But nationalism is still associated with Franco, whose authoritarian rule centralized Spain after a bloody civil war that was one of the defining ideological conflicts in 20th-century Europe.

Whether this wave of nationalism will awaken old demons in Spain is an open question, and one that has suddenly become more urgent with Catalonia’s push for independence.

Equally dangerous, in the eyes of many Spaniards, is Catalonia’s threat to tear apart a country that is a composite of regional identities and languages — including Basque and Galician as well as Catalan — a reality the government and the country have never truly found a comfortable way to digest.

“In America people are proud to be patriots, whereas in Spain if you say that you’re proud of your country, they say you’re a fascist,” said Carlotta Carro, a 24-year-old lawyer who supported the Spanish police crackdown on the Catalan referendum. “But now people have a reason to go out into the streets to proudly show their flag.”




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