According to the latest official CEO (Center of Opinion Studies) poll taken in October 2011, 45.4% of Catalans would vote “yes” in a referendum on independence. Although it is not the case in the rest of the Catalan-speaking territories, support for independence has been rising in Catalonia. It is not yet a mainstream movement, yet these numbers do tell us that the mood is shifting, and the reason can be traced to two factors: the ruling on the Catalan Statute of Autonomy in 2010, and the fiscal deficit with Spain. In June 2010, Catalans were told that there would be even further limits placed on their self-government. And to many, this was a point of no return. Up until then, Catalonia had always been able to make small but steady gains in autonomy. Powers were transferred for everything from education to health care. As long as most Catalans saw there was some room to maneuver and felt their needs were being met and their culture and language respected, they did not seriously contemplate independence. The ruling in June 2010 (see InTransit Issue 1), coupled with a suffocating fiscal deficit that has been detrimental to Catalonia’s social services, infrastructure and social well-being, has changed all of this. In this context, we offer you the following article by Dr. Salvador Cardús.
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