Expats in Catalonia solidly against independence

Published:  20 Dec at 6 PM
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According to a recent local survey, expats living in Catalonia are firmly opposed to independence, whatever the referendum result says.

The survey, conducted by the expat owner of a Catalonian real estate company, involved almost 500 expat respondents, the vast majority of whom were firmly against the drive for independence by local separatists. In addition to the survey itself, although they weren’t included, economic migrant groups from Morocco, Pakistan, China and the Philippines were also approached for their opinions. Almost all said they thought the separatists were crazy.

Questions asked in the survey included whether the separatists had a democratic mandate to call for independence, whether the crisis had made respondents consider leaving, whether Catalonia would be worse or better off as an independent state and whether respondents agreed with the independence call. Results were interesting, to say the least, with every expat against independence also believing the state would be worse off should it happen. The group also believes the separatists had no democratic mandate for their actions.

The opinions of those in favour of an independent Catalonia were the exact opposite to those against the independence campaign, but the overall result was that the majority of expats living in the state simply aren’t keen on it becoming independent, with many considering leaving should the separatists get their way. Sadly, an expat exodus would be disastrous for Catalonia and its economy.

Interestingly, expats from Russia and South American countries with little free speech or real democracy claimed oppression by the separatists and were strongly opposed to independence. As expats are often influenced by their surroundings, support for independence was higher in areas where locals were in favour of the change.

In Barcelona, local support is under 50 per cent, with the majority against separatist demands. A number of respondents were unhappy they couldn’t vote in the autonomous regional elections, even although they had a big stake in the result. Expats across Catalonia number 15 per cent of the entire population of the region, and are in general unsympathetic to the separatists’ cause.
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