Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Hey Geogra-peeps, so me and my mom are back from the heritage trip, it's good to see you again.

  • This is gonna be another filler week, and I kind of wanted to discuss something

  • That's a little controversial - that a lot of you have been emailing me and messaging me about:

  • Catalonia.

  • And many of you have asked me: "Hey Barbs, is Geography Now

  • gonna do a Catalonia video? are we gonna cover Catalonia? What about Catalonia?"

  • As of Friday, October 27th the Catalonian people have voted to declare themselves independent.

  • So that means we have to do a Catalonia video right? Well my definitive answer is: I don't know yet.

  • Declaring independence is not the only criteria for becoming a nation. There's a lot of steps and protocol

  • you kind of have to follow, but first of all let's just kind of explain what's going on.

  • What is Catalonia and what is going on and how did it become what it is today?

  • It's a little complicated, but in the best way

  • I can I'll try to explain.

  • First of all, long ago Catalonia was separate from the rest of what is now modern-day Spain in the region of Aragon.

  • In the year 1150 Queen Petronilia of

  • Aragon married the count of Barcelona which basically merged all the regions that their son would inherit.

  • Then in 1707 Catalonia tried to secede again,

  • but then there was a war in Valencia, another in Catalonia seven years later

  • and after the remaining islands were taken, the modern-day of what is now Spain was complete

  • Nonetheless, Catalonia has always kind of been like the rebel of all the regions, to some extent the Basque Country too,

  • But that's a whole other story that we'll have to cover some other time.

  • They have their own language, cuisine, traditions, holidays, festivals, customs, everything you name it.

  • So basically since the modern state of Spain was established,

  • the subsequent Spanish government has always kind of had a little bit of difficulty managing and implementing Spanish law in this region

  • until they finally just kind of threw up their hands and were like "okay fine!"

  • In the 30s and 70s, they were like "we're just gonna give you autonomy."

  • Now here's where the numbers come in and it might give you a little bit more of an insight as to how things came to be.

  • Catalonia has long been the industrial maritime heartland for Spain, having a coast along the Mediterranean

  • They excel in finance and tourism and high-tech services as well. This in return makes them one of the wealthiest regions of Spain

  • accounting for about a fifth of the overall GDP at about 315 million.

  • That's about on par with Madrid. Their economy is more than the entire

  • economies of Portugal or Hong Kong. Their GDP per capita is about 35 K

  • Which makes them wealthier than South Korea, Italy, or Israel so you can probably guess how they reacted after the financial crisis of the late

  • 2000s - especially the rich. For a long time they've kind of felt like their flourishing

  • Economic output has kind of been like a crutch for the rest of the regions of Spain.

  • Nonetheless, this guy comes in, the president of Catalonia, he calls for a referendum. The Senate approves.

  • Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy is not happy.

  • He calls it an unconstitutional, and they should have kind of left it at that

  • but then things kind of took a turn for the worse. The Spanish government came in and

  • deliberately tried to use force to stop people from going to polling stations, seizing pamphlets, posters and in some cases things escalated to violence.

  • Now after declaring independence, Spain's Senate has invoked article 155 - the never before used article from the 1978 Constitution.

  • Which grants full power to the government to take over Catalonia.

  • So what does that all mean and where do we stand in terms of Catalonia's sovereignty?

  • Well it isn't quite easy to say because just wanting and declaring to be independent is not quite enough. There's a lot of things that go into this.

  • I mean let's look at the last example of a state that seceded from another bigger country South Sudan and Sudan.

  • One of the biggest differences in this case is that South Sudan was able to prove that they have been historically marginalized

  • Over a long period of time. They were able to convince the international community and Sudan that there was no other better alternative option other

  • than secession both the country Sudan and the seceding country South Sudan voted and even Sudan

  • voted that they could secede. So even though the whole situation was kind of messed up to begin with there was actually a lot of cooperation.

  • This is not exactly quite what we see with Catalonia. Spain really does not want to give up Catalonia.

  • I mean sure maybe Catalonia would have the means to maintain their own government and social structures,

  • however what would it look like for them in terms of international policy and diplomacy? When I was on the Heritage trip

  • I actually talked to quite a few Europeans

  • and they have kind of mixed feelings about

  • Catalonia. See the problem that a lot of European citizens have with Catalonia is that they don't want the EU to start crumbling.

  • They want it to be unified, hence European Union. When stuff like this happens

  • It doesn't quite look that good for the EU.

  • But then again you have some people that are totally down for the Catalonia independence movement and if Catalonia did get independence it means that

  • They would have to restructure everything from square one. It means that would have to do a lot of paperwork

  • They would have to do a lot of outreach

  • They would have to build embassies

  • And they would have to do

  • Diplomats and all that other crazy stuff that ensues. If they did secede it means that they would have to figure out a way to

  • Pay off the fifty-two billion dollars that they owe to the central Spanish administration

  • Which might be a little awkward?

  • Also, by law any state that secedes from a current existing EU member state immediately loses their EU status

  • And they would have to reapply which might take a lot of time if they even want to join again.

  • Which I'm guessing they probably would and that would cost just a whole other level of money and time and then they have to be

  • recognized, there's this thing called constitutional and declarative theory in which it kind of states that in order to be a state

  • You kind of have to be recognized by other states. In the end all I can really say is

  • I don't know what's gonna happen, and it's a little too early right now. As you know here at Geography Now

  • we cover the internationally recognized fully sovereign member states of the UN

  • alphabetically, so if Catalonia can achieve this and become a full member of the UN recognized by enough states and build up diplomatic ties then

  • Yes, we will cover Catalonia here on Geography Now

  • But if they cannot, then you will have to wait after Zimbabwe when we cover the disputed autonomous and constituent nations.

  • I will just leave it at that.

  • Stay cool stay tuned.

Hey Geogra-peeps, so me and my mom are back from the heritage trip, it's good to see you again.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 catalonia sudan spain eu kind spanish

What is up with Catalonia? (Geography Now!)

  • 0 0
    林宜悉 posted on 2020/04/15
Video vocabulary