SLU Professor From Spain Discusses Catalonia Crisis

SLU Professor From Spain Discusses Catalonia Crisis

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Catalonia president Carles Puidgemont immediately suspended a declaration of independence Tuesday to start negotiations with Spain's government as an independent republic.

The suspended declaration comes after weeks of protests, some injuring hundreds of people.

Marina Llorente is a St. Lawrence University professor who grew up in the city of Malaga.

"What we have right now is the social fabric of Catalonia has been divided," she said.

Llorente says independence supporters believe Catalonia helps the Spanish government more than it helps Catalonia, which accounts for a fifth of Spain's economy.

Catalonia also has a separate language and culture.

Catalonia says 90 percent of voters chose independence on October 1. Only about 40 percent of voters participated because the vote was declared illegal and some boycotted it.

"The main government didn't want to hear these voices of Catalans," said Llorente.

Llorente says Catalonian independence could spark global financial concerns like after Brexit and inspire nationalistic groups all around the world, including here in the U.S."

"Can you imagine here if suddenly California decided to be independent? All the main companies, the main banks are leaving," said Llorente.

Some St. Lawrence students are studying in Madrid this semester, living in part of Spanish history.

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