Why Catalonia is where it is today?


After the Franco dictatorship, Catalonia approves its Statute of Autonomy, which grants it devolved regional powers.


A new Statute of Autonomy is agreed on between the Spanish and Catalan governments and approved Catalan parliament.


A heavily modified version of the new Statute.

The right-wing Popular Party, denounces the Catalan Statute before the Constitutional Court of Spain, arguing that it infringes on the Spanish constitution.


The Spanish Constitutional Court suspends essential articles of the new Statute of Autonomy affecting the recognition of Catalonia as a nation, protections for the Catalan language, regional tax collection powers.

The sentence of the Constitutional Court is met with a massive protest of over a million people in the streets of Barcelona calling for the right to self-determination.


The Popular Party gains an absolute majority in the Spanish parliament in early elections, and its leader, Mariano Rajoy, becomes president.


Two key grassroots civil society groups, Òmnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly, organize a march on Catalonia’s national day, September 11th, where over a million people clamor for independence.

The Catalan president offers the Spanish government to negotiate a new fiscal arrangement between Catalonia and Spain, which is refused. In response, he announces that a vote on independence will take place.


Catalonia holds a non-binding “citizen’s vote” on independence and, faced with non-recognition from Madrid, the Catalan president calls of early elections.


Pro-independence political parties, running on a platform of organizing a binding independence referendum, win a majority of seats in the Catalan Parliament in the 2015 regional elections.


The Catalan government announces that the independence referendum will take place on October 1st, 2017.

The Spanish government sends over 10,000 policemen to Catalonia in order to prevent the referendum from taking place.

September 20th

As part of the operation against the referendum, Spanish police arrest 14 public servants and search the Catalan Economy Ministry HQ, among others. Around 40,000 people gather in front of the building in protest, with the heads of the ANC and Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, volunteering to manage the crowd.

October 1st

Despite the efforts of the Spanish government, citizen participation ensures that the referendum takes place. Images of the Spanish police violently attacking peaceful voters are seen the world over. In the end, 90% of the 2.4 million Catalans who braved the difficulties to vote said “yes” to independence.

October 16th

Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez are charged with sedition (punishable with up to 15 years in prison) and placed in pretrial detention, where they remain to this day.

October 27th

In response to the result of the referendum, the Catalan Parliament declares the independence of Catalonia.

October 28th

The Spanish government suspends Catalonia’s home rule, calls early elections, and removes the democratically-elected Catalan government, whose members are summoned to declare before a judge in Madrid the following week.

October 30th

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and several Catalan ministers go into exile in Belgium and Scotland.

November 2nd

Those members of the Catalan government who go to declare in Madrid, including vice-president Oriol Junqueras, are charged with sedition, rebellion, and misuse of public funds and are placed in pretrial detention, where they also remain to this day.

November 3rd

An European arrest warrant is emitted against those who went into exile, all of whom are requested to appear before a local court. They are promptly set free while the court decides on their extradition.

December 5th

Seeing that the extradition procedure was not advancing, the judge overseeing the case against the Catalan leaders decides to withdraw the European Arrest Warrant.

December 21st

The new Catalan elections take place, and the pro-independence parties once again win a majority of seats. Nevertheless, the Spanish government decides to block the investiture of any politician involved in a judicial process.


March 25th

The European Arrest Warrant is reactivated, president Puigdemont is arrested in Germany, and all other former ministers are made to appear before local courts.

May 14th

After many months of negotiations, complicated by Madrid’s refusal to accept the candidates put forth by the winning coalition, Quim Torra becomes the new Catalan president, allowing Catalonia to regain its home rule.

May 16th

The Belgian court rejects the extradition of the Catalan ex-ministers under its purview.

June 1st

The right-wing government of Mariano Rajoy falls after a motion of no-confidence triggered by corruption scandals within the Popular Party.

July 12th

The German court rejects extraditing president Puigdemont for sedition and rebellion.

July 19th

Left with the possibility of only judging president Puigdemont for misuse of public funds, the judge in charge of the case once again withdraws all European Arrest Warrants.

October 16th

Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez mark a full year in pretrial detention.

November 2nd

The prosecution in the case against the Catalan leaders presents its written accusation. The sentences requested range between 7 to 25 years, including 17 years in the case of Jordi Cuixart.  

This website uses its own and third-party cookies in order to allow you to navigate with predefined characteristics, the monitoring and analysis of your behavior and the management of advertising spaces. The access and use of the website implies your acceptance. For more information, you can access our Cookies Policy.