It's the land of Dali, Gaudi, Pep Guardiola, tourism, industries, mountains, sea ports - and most recently, also very vocal and emotional separatist sentiment. Catalonia's regional election on Dec. 21 seems to have sparked as many questions as it gave answers: If 52 percent of the voters chose anti-independence parties, but the separatists won the biggest number of regional parliamentary seats, how can the region move forward?
As Catalonia and Madrid embark on a new chapter of Spain's separatist saga, our team has visited Madrid, Barcelona and beyond to find out more about the history of the region. Where does the independence movement come from? What role does Catalonia's distinct culture play in the separatist movement? And how might the central government handle the crisis?
In Part 1, we meet Catalan MEP Ernest Urtasun from “Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds” (Initiative for Catalonia Greens). Although he says he feels very Catalan, he doesn’t necessarily favour independence for Catalonia. Jordi Sole, MEP from the pro-independence party “Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya” (The Republican Left of Catalonia), on the other hand, tells us why he supports an independent Catalonia.
Also in Part 1, a story by Isabelle Romero and Anais Guerard on the roots of "Catalanism".
Video: Stéphane Bodenne, Johan Bodin
Editing: Aude Gourichon
Sound: Colin Idier