The citizens of the Spanish region of Catalonia voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence (90%) from Spain on Sunday night’s referendum amid clashes between the locals and police units sent by the central government, which resulted in the injury of many people. The central government disputed the constitutionality of the vote, with PM Mariano Rajoy saying Catalans had been fooled into taking part in an illegal vote. Apart from the Baleares and the Madrid region itself, Catalonia together with its capital Barcelona is one of the economically more powerful parts of the country. The infographic shows that the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of Catalonia lies closer to that of the Eurozone than of Spain as a whole.
This in mind, it comes as no surprise that Madrid is by all means opposed to letting go of Catalonia. Once before, in October 1934, shortly before the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) broke out, Catalonia had announced its independence from the rest of Spain. This prompted Madrid to sent the army to Barcelona.