Barcelona

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Part of Spain and capital of Catalonia. The Spanish deep state is trying to block independence attempts.

Place.png Barcelona
(City)
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Barcelona is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits,[1] its urban area is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the fifth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, the Ruhr area, Madrid, and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea.

Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. The city is home to two of the most prestigious universities in Spain: the University of Barcelona and Pompeu Fabra University. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.

Barcelona is a major cultural, economic, and financial centre in southwestern Europe,[2] as well as the main biotech hub in Spain.[3]

History

Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After joining with the Kingdom of Aragon to form the confederation of the Crown of Aragon, Barcelona, which continued to be the capital of the Principality of Catalonia, became the most important city in the Crown of Aragon and the main economic and administrative centre of the Crown, only to be overtaken by Valencia, wrested from Arab domination by the Catalans, shortly before the dynastic union between the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon in 1492.

During the Spanish Civil War, the city, and Catalonia in general, were resolutely Republican. The fall of the city on 26 January 1939, caused a mass exodus of civilians who fled to the French border. The resistance of Barcelona to Franco's coup d'état was to have lasting effects after the defeat of the Republican government. The autonomous institutions of Catalonia were abolished,[4] and the use of the Catalan language in public life was suppressed. Barcelona remained the second largest city in Spain, at the heart of a region which was relatively industrialised and prosperous, despite the devastation of the civil war. The result was a large-scale immigration from poorer regions of Spain (particularly Andalusia, Murcia and Galicia), which in turn led to rapid urbanisation.

The death of Franco in 1975 brought on a period of democratisation throughout Spain. Pressure for change was particularly strong in Barcelona, which considered that it had been punished during nearly forty years of Francoism for its support of the Republican government.[5] Massive, but peaceful, demonstrations on 11 September 1977 assembled over a million people in the streets of Barcelona to call for the restoration of Catalan autonomy. It was granted less than a month later.[6]

The development of Barcelona was promoted by two events in 1986: Spanish accession to the European Community, and particularly Barcelona's designation as host city of the 1992 Summer Olympics.[7][8] The process of urban regeneration has been rapid, and accompanied by a greatly increased international reputation of the city as a tourist destination. The increased cost of housing has led to a slight decline (−16.6%) in the population over the last two decades of the 20th century as many families move out into the suburbs. This decline has been reversed since 2001, as a new wave of immigration (particularly from Latin America and from Morocco) has gathered pace.[9]

Independence Movement

The contemporary independence movement began around 2009, after the Partido Popular (People's Party) challenged the 2006 Statute of Autonomy in the Constitutional Court of Spain; Catalan municipalities held symbolic referendums on independence between 2009 and 2011. The 2010 ruling of the court that the statute was unconstitutional sparked huge protests, and a snap election in 2012 led to the first pro-independence majority ever in the Catalan parliament. The new government held a "non-binding" self-determination referendum in 2014, which yielded a large majority in favour of independence, but with a low turnout due to boycotting by anti-independence voters. A further election in 2015 was followed by the calling of a new, binding referendum. Deemed illegal by the Spanish government and Constitutional Court, the referendum was held in 2017, despite a police action aimed at stopping it which included raiding voting stations and the use of rubber bullets. Amidst large protests, negotiations to bring an end to the impasse between the Catalan and Spanish governments did not come to fruition and the Catalan parliament approved a motion creating an independent republic. The parliamentary leaders were then arrested, with some leaders including then president Carles Puigdemont fleeing abroad. In 2019, the new Spanish government agreed to hold a 'table of negotiations' with the government of Catalunya, though refusing beforehand to consider independence or self-determination. In 2020, the Spanish government began processing a request for the pardon of the arrested leaders.


 

Events

EventDescription
2017 Barcelona attacksAttackers were police informants and under intense surveillance. Happened at a convenient time for the Spanish government.
Bilderberg/2010

 

Groups Headquartered Here

A Group Headquartered HereDescription
Barcelona Centre for International AffairsSpanish think tank that hosted to the Integrity Initiative Spanish Cluster
Ramon Llull UniversityA Christian-inspired university
University of Barcelona
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References