Of course there is the obligatory secessionist movement, but it isn't violent and has much less support then that of the independence movement in Quebec. In the latest survey only about 20% of locals are in favour of outright independence. Reference
It should be noted that all this has unfolded peacefully and should not be confused with the independence movement farther North in the Basque region which has seen decades of various levels of terrorism by the ETA.
Most Catalans are content to remain in Spain under semi-autonomous conditions which were agreed to in 2006, under the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, but recently, that law has been dealt a setback by Spain's Supreme Court, ruling that some of its provisions were unconstitutional (ring any bells?)
On June 10 Catalans held a giant demonstration in Barcelona to protest the decision.
All this, of course, is of supreme interest to the Parti Quebecois, who view the independence movement in Catalonia as a parallel struggle to that of the independence of Quebec.
Upon hearing the news of the Supreme court setback Pauline Marois took it upon herself to write a letter of commiseration to the president of Catalonia. LINK
Here is a translation of that letter which was originally written in French;
Most Honourable Señore José Montilla i Aguilera
President of the government of Catalonia
With great attention I read about the recent 'decsion' of the Constitutional Court that declared unconstitutional several important provisions of the Organic Law on the reform of Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia.I also, like many Quebeckers, noted the strength of the Catalonian nation during the demonstration on 10 July in Barcelona.This gathering of over one million of Catalans last Saturday under the banner of "We are One Nation - We'll Decide for Ourselves," illustrates the extraordinary vitality and commitment to the nation's destiny.The Quebec nation remains, as the Catalan nation, committed to its right to decide its own future. Despite court decisions, the Catalan nation has the right to protect and promote its language, its culture and its institutions. The political struggle to advance our nations, often against the established constitutional straitjacket, requires much effort and energy. Also, know that in Quebec you will always find attentive friends and allies for your engagement towards Catalonia.On behalf of the Parti Quebecois, I want to express to you today our solidarity.We believe that it is up to our peoples to ultimately decide our own destiny, to choose our political status and exercise the right to self-determination and not the courts, to mark their future.Please accept, Mr. President, my highest consideration.
Chef du Parti Québécois
Chef de l'opposition officielle» LINK(French)
For elected officials, interfering in the internal affairs of another country is an international taboo, especially when it comes to supporting independence movements.
The classic example was Charles de Gaulle's "VIVE LA QUEBEC LIBRE" speech that he gave in Montreal in 1967. The angry reaction of the Canadian government at the French president's meddling over the issue of Quebec sovereignty sent De Gaulle scurrying home amidst a diplomatic row.
Perhaps Madame Marois deserves to be declared personna non grata by the Spanish government for her act of interference, but it doesn't appear so.
The letter hasn't caused much of a splash and there's zero mention of it in the Spanish press.
I guess Madame Marois lacks a certain gravitas....
Or to paraphrase.....
"Pauline, you're no Charles De Gaulle." ...
At any rate Madame Marois seems to prattle on without anyone listening. She is prone to make endless policy shifts depending on the prevailing mood of her party or the electorate.
At a certain point as leader she declared there would likely be another referendum during the next PQ mandate. Then her position shifted and the referendum became a maybe. Now, with the PQ facing a realistic chance of winning the next election, a referendum, has been officially ruled out. Ho hum.
Her latest demand that the Loyola College court decision (allowing the school to teach the ECR course according to Catholic point of view) be appealed is so strident, that it would be safe to assume that she has always been a supporter of separation of Church and school. See my post
"It is up to parents and the church to pass along faith," Marois said. "Schools must pass along knowledge."No mincing words there, a secularist through and through. Or so it appears.
In an article in Republique de Bananes, Pauline Marois is quoted as making the following statements in the 'Assemblée nationale (Parliament) back in March 1997.
"Public schools must respect the free choice or free rejection of religion, it is part of democratic freedoms."
"The choice between moral education or religious education, Catholic and Protestant, shall continue to be offered in accordance with the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "Quite a flip-flop.
"Schools must be able to offer free choice to parents who attend ... that is to say, to parents of children who attend, of the possibility of a Catholic, Protestant or moral training. "
"I repeat, Mr. Speaker, public schools must respect the free choice as well as free rejection of religion as expressed by parents.
Recently, in reference to that Loyola court decision, Marois was quoted as saying;
"I'm the one who worked to secularize the school system." LinkWhaaaat????
Nobody has called her out on the apparent contradiction in positions, probably because nobody is paying much attention to her.