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Voices From Catalonia

Passions are running high in Catalonia, amid an ongoing crisis over efforts to achieve independence from Spain. Some people who opposed independence declined to have their photographs taken. These interviews were conducted in Barcelona during and after the referendum. (RFE/RL's Belarus Service)


This woman agreed to be photographed, but declined to give her name. She said: "We are being strangled. The Spanish government strangles us and takes our money."
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This woman agreed to be photographed, but declined to give her name. She said: "We are being strangled. The Spanish government strangles us and takes our money."

Sergio: "I voted for independence, because I don't like the repression. The problem is the Spanish government – not the Spanish people. We went to vote with my wife, and there was fear that the police would attack and beat us."
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Sergio: "I voted for independence, because I don't like the repression. The problem is the Spanish government – not the Spanish people. We went to vote with my wife, and there was fear that the police would attack and beat us."

Anna: "We are being discriminated for many years. For some time we had more autonomy, but then it was taken away by the Spanish government."
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Anna: "We are being discriminated for many years. For some time we had more autonomy, but then it was taken away by the Spanish government."

Salvador: "This referendum is illegal. We live in a democracy – you can get the majority in the Spanish parliament and change whatever you want. But you should respect the law. The Spanish Constitution is our law, and there is no right to secession there."
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Salvador: "This referendum is illegal. We live in a democracy – you can get the majority in the Spanish parliament and change whatever you want. But you should respect the law. The Spanish Constitution is our law, and there is no right to secession there."

Catalina: "My cousin worked in a bank in Madrid. When she was calling clients in Catalonia, she spoke Catalan to them, and they were happy. Then her boss told her she will be fired, if she speaks one more word in Catalan in the office."
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Catalina: "My cousin worked in a bank in Madrid. When she was calling clients in Catalonia, she spoke Catalan to them, and they were happy. Then her boss told her she will be fired, if she speaks one more word in Catalan in the office."

Gerard: "Catalans are a separate people with the right to self-determination. I consider myself Catalan, not Spanish. Spain is still my country, but I hope it will not be for long."
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Gerard: "Catalans are a separate people with the right to self-determination. I consider myself Catalan, not Spanish. Spain is still my country, but I hope it will not be for long."

Cristina: "I have people from Catalonia and Andalusia in my family. I am not for separation from Spain. I did not want to go to the referendum. But the Spanish government behaved in such a way that it was turning into a dictatorship. So I went and voted for independence. But it was a protest vote."
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Cristina: "I have people from Catalonia and Andalusia in my family. I am not for separation from Spain. I did not want to go to the referendum. But the Spanish government behaved in such a way that it was turning into a dictatorship. So I went and voted for independence. But it was a protest vote."

Lois: "The situation is surrealistic and sad. It's unbelievable. I'm one of those who does not go to street demonstrations, but I think there is not a single reason to justify separation from Spain. I'm from Galicia, but I've been living here for 15 years."
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Lois: "The situation is surrealistic and sad. It's unbelievable. I'm one of those who does not go to street demonstrations, but I think there is not a single reason to justify separation from Spain. I'm from Galicia, but I've been living here for 15 years."

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