Daily Management Review

These Places In Europe Could Be Next If Catalonia Goes Independent,


These Places In Europe Could Be Next If Catalonia Goes Independent,
Europe has many other separatist movements that are closely watching developments in northeastern Spain in Catalonia even though the latter might be the separatist regions making headlines at the moment.
the motivations for wanting to go it alone are equally as diverse encompassing linguistic and cultural differences as well as economic and historical justifications and separatist movements in Europe can range from small townships to entire regions. While some separatist movements like Catalonia are aimed at gaining full independence and nothing less others harbor dreams of gaining just a bit more autonomy from the national government.
There are numerous and significant separatist movements to contend with for countries like Germany and Italy where states can have very distinct linguistic, cultural and historical differences.
"The Europe of regions is making a comeback," said Willem Buiter, chief economist at Citi.
"Too many countries in the European Union have secessionist problems, including the U.K., Belgium and Italy and this is not a unique problem," he said.
The list below comprises of those monitoring Catalonia's referendum with interest and are among the larger and long-standing separatist movements.
Venice and Lombardy
Aimed at gaining more autonomy, Italy's wealthy regions of Lombardy and Veneto are both eyeing referendums on October 22.
Driven mainly by resentment at the perception that taxpayers' money is spent in the poorer south of the country, both regions have strong separatist movements.
"Too many countries in the European Union have secessionist problems"- says Willem Buiter, Chief economist at Citi.
It's worth remembering that Venice only became a part of Italy in 1866 and is known for being the city of romance rather than rampant nationalism. 2.1 million citizens of Venice (89 percent of the vote) voted for independence in 2014 when it had its own non-binding referendum on independence.
Flanders and Wallonia
Split between three communities, languages and regions is Belgium. Considerable movements striving for independence can be seen in regions such as the Flanders and the Flemish community in the north of the country, the French-speaking south, known as Wallonia and a German-speaking region in the far east of the country.
A gradual secession of Flanders from Belgium has been advocated by the New Flemish Alliance, a nationalist, conservative group which is dominant in the Belgian parliament, and some other political groups.
The Basque Country
The Basque Country, an "autonomous community" situated on the north coast of Spain, is one region of Spain that is certainly watching events in Catalonia with interest.
With its own language and distinct culture, the Basque Country is similar to Catalonia. And with various terrorist attacks carried out by the nationalist and separatist group Eta, it also has a history of some violent separatism unlike Catalonia. However, a cease fire was made permanent in 2011 after the armed movement for independence called a ceasefire in 2010.
South Tyrol
Being distinctly un-Italian with German being the predominant language with only around a quarter of the region's 510,000 inhabitants speaking Italian, and also known as the Alto Adige, the South Tyrol region is found in the northern-most part of Italy.
The region has a secessionist movement that would like to secede from Italy and reunify with Austria, despite being an autonomous province since 1972, giving it a greater level of self-determination. The region was annexed to Italy following the World War I but was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Scotland is one country looking at the Catalan referendum with interest. Here, the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) has not given up hope that another vote could be held sooner rather than later despite holding its own legal and U.K.-government approved referendum on independence back in 2014. In that voting, 55 percent of voters chose to stay a part of the U.K.
The "strength of feeling" in Catalonia "cannot be ignored", said the leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon following the vote in Catalonia last Sunday. But talks needed to be held by both sides, she added.