‘La Patum’ is one of the oldest and most important celebrations in Catalonia. This popular festival, which has been labelled a world heritage event by UNESCO, is celebrated in a small town each year in Corpus Christi. However, in 2010, La Patum was not only a cultural festival, but also a political event. Thus, most people gathering under the city hall’s balcony where local and national politicians were sitting, chanted political slogans. They chanted slogans in support of independence for Catalonia and they accused some politicians of being botiflers (traitors). That night, the Catalan television channel broadcasted a documentary exploring Catalan secession as an opportunity to improve life’s quality among Catalans. That program, called Adéu Espanya (Good Bye Spain), was the first one in Spanish history where political analysts openly talked in a public television channel about the future of Catalonia as an independent state. The program’s broadcast had one of the highest audience ratings for the Catalan television channel in the last few months. Actually, this fact has been recently used to demonstrate that nowadays Catalans have secession on their political agenda.
Similarly ,the Basque Country seems to be fated to live with the Constitutional issue in its day-to-day politics (Keating, M. and Wilson, A. 2009: 556). For instance, in June 2010, the left-wing separatist movement announced their intention to create a new and unitary political organization to fight for the independence of the Basque Country. According to its leaders, this new political entity will become the platform from where the Basque left-wing secessionist movement would also reject any violent action commited by ETA, the Basque armed group, for the first time. Moreover, one week later, the PNV, the moderate Basque nationalist political party, put forward its new political proposal arguing for the amendment of the Basque Autonnomous Statute in order to achieve further devolution to the Basque Country.
Theoretical discourse on this issue argues that plurinational democracies are those states which contain two or more internal nations that are constanly looking for their political accommodation within constitutional rules such as Spain or the United Kingdom (Requejo, F. 2010: 151). Some believe that devolution processes that plurinational states initiated some years ago have watered down secessionist movements in stateless nations (Guibernau, M. 2010: 31). They argue that those processes have accommodated national minorities within state dynamics. Similarly, they say that these political changes have involved regional elites in the state’s political and economical structure. However, there is also a general agreement among Western scholars that Catalans and Basques have an open attitude to the meaning of self-determination (Keating, M and Bray, Z. 2006: 353). In fact, in my point of view, it would be worth knowing whether this open attitude towards concepts such as self-determination or stateless nations has led to an increasing support for the secession of Catalonia and the Basque Country. By focusing on the Spanish case, I wish to draw attention to why Catalans and Basques are not fully satisfied and they still claim for further decentralization processes (Requejo, F. 2000; Keating, M. 2000 quoted in Guibernau, M. 2006: 62), even for independence, although their institutions have a high degree of self-government. Furthermore, could we say that state and central policies have shaped peripherical national movements in both territories? Are the political elites of these nationalist movements really changing their discourse in order to consider self-determination as the only solution? (...)