Even in the midst of a global period of political unrest, the argument over Catalonia’s independence still managed to dominate the news cycle at the end of 2017. The region saw a disputed independence referendum and a Spanish response that draw widespread condemnation, but then – for the rest of the west, at least – the story disappeared from the headlines.
Spain is, by far, the most visited country for UK holidaymakers. Many have continued to journey to the region without a second thought for the ongoing political arguments, but others have paused, wondering whether Spain should join the ever-growing list of “do not visit” countries. Without a continual high-profile coverage of the developments in Catalonia by the UK media, it can be difficult to know – so here’s the answer.
The current status
In many ways, the current situation in the Catalonian independence debate is best described using a popular saying from another Romance language: “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” – the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Catalonian independence is not a new movement. While the unrest at the end of 2017 was particularly prolific, the arguments – from both sides – brought little new to the table. Since then, life has primarily returned to normal. As TheGuardian.com reports, the Catalonian president has called for a new referendum on independence. The Spanish government has continued to say “no” to that request. These are two statements that would have been true for roughly 90% of the past 20 years.
The most notable actual development is good news for those hoping for a settled Spanish vacation. Spain have announced that the arrest warrant they issued for former Catalonian president Carles Puigdemont has been withdrawn. Puigdemont – who held the referendum that sparked disturbances – remains in exile, but the Spanish government seem to be signalling a desire to move on with the warrant’s removal
Back to normal
Given the prolific coverage of the Catalonia referendum, many of us expected substantial change – but it just hasn’t happened. The simple truth is that Catalonia and Spain have been arguing this issue for many years, to the point where the discussion is fairly standard and normal.
While the images of unrest were disturbing, they were outliers in a general course that has since corrected itself. As a result, British holidaymakers should feel no concern heading to Interhome.co.uk to find the perfect villa for their travels and then heading to one of Europe’s most beautiful countries for the holiday of a lifetime.
The – rather cynical – truth is that Spain is a country that relies on tourism as a contributor to its GDP. The images last autumn damaged the country’s reputation, but all sides have sought to repair this so as to continue to attract tourists. Catalonia, too, have a stake in the desire to attract tourists, with the regional capital of Barcelona is the most-visited city in the country. It is therefore in the interests of both parties to ensure that holidaymakers view Spain as a safe, secure destination – and one that you should feel no hesitation over visiting yourself this summer.