What Happened: Catalan separatists clashed with police on Sept. 29 in Barcelona, as tensions increase before the Oct. 1 anniversary of the Spanish region's illegal referendum on secession that ended in violent raids by security forces, AP reported. Pro-secession protesters also clashed with pro-police marchers.
Why It Matters: Catalan secessionism remains a concern for the Spanish government, and questions about the wealthy region's future linger as the independence issue remains unresolved.
Background: The regional Catalan government held last year's Oct. 1 referendum despite its prohibition by Spain's constitutional court. The Catalan parliament declared independence after the referendum passed, prompting Spain's central government to take temporary control of the region. Several members of the Catalan government were arrested; others fled abroad to avoid arrest. Nationalist have since regained control of Catalonia's government and want Spain's central authorities to authorize a binding vote on secession.
- Independence-Minded Catalonia Will Tread a More Cautious Path (May 14, 2018)
- Spain: After Elections, Catalonia Faces a New Year as Complicated as the Last (Dec. 22, 2017)
- Spain, Catalonia and the Distance That Divides (Nov. 11, 2017)