Catalonia's President Artur Mas wants to hold an independence referendum on November 9 despite opposition from Spain's parliament (photo: dpa)

Independence movements spreading across Europe

The climate for greater independence and self-control by regions is increasing across Europe. Local politicians are using the background of economic crisis to develop their rhetoric for better times by breaking away from central government and bigger tax bills. But secession is a populist political project rather than an economic one.

<i>The discussion about secession and the right to independence is on the rise even though increasing globalisation and the gradual weakening of nationalistic ideologies have emptied secessionist movements of much of their historical meaning. This has made them a populist theme which ambitious politicians try to exploit. Secession is unlikely to so...

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Professor Enrico Colombatto
Such ambitious leaders see secession as an opportunity to make empty promises to unsophisticated voters
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