The majority of citizens of the main European countries (46%) perceive the Catalan separatist movement as «a serious problem». In spite of this, the events of the last year, such as the independence coup, the application of the 155 and the escalation of conflict, have not influenced his assessment of Spain , which is still very high. Spain is the third country most valued by the rest of Europeans. The possibility that Catalonia ends up being an independent state has not penetrated the continent : 49% of Europeans believe that Catalonia will not become independent in the next 10 years, compared to 29% who believe that this community will end up being a state.
These conclusions are drawn from the eighth wave of the Barometer Image of Spain (BIE) of the Elcano Royal Institute . A study based on more than 3,790 interviews conducted in September between citizens of Belgium , Germany , the United Kingdom , France , Italy , the Netherlands , Poland , Sweden and Portugal .
When asked about the will of the Catalans, 37% of the interviewees think that the majority want independence, compared to 12% who consider that the majority prefer integration in Spain. 32% say that the Catalans are “divided equally”.
The study shows that the two states that feel closer to Spain, Portugal and Poland are also those that have a better image of the country and those that think that the independence movement has less future. The vast majority of Europeans (65%) say that their assessment of Spain has not changed after the Catalan conflict. Those who say it has worsened amount to 12%; 6% today has a better image of Spain than before the independence coup.
Finally, most Europeans are against, in general, the independence movements. 50% say that “it is not good for European states to be divided into smaller states” compared to 16% that consider it positive.
The strongest position against secessionist phenomena is found in Portugal (with 64% against). The citizens of the United Kingdom, on the other hand, are the most favorable to the European states being able to split, with 20% in favor. Supposedly, as they assure from the Real Instituto Elcano, by the weight of the Scots in the British sample.
Spain maintains a very good valuation among all European countries. As explained by Carmen González , director of the Observatory of Spain’s image ofthe institute, the current image of the country is “incomparably better” than in 2012, when it hit the ground due to the economic crisis.
Sweden takes the gold medal in valuation, with a 7.7 out of 10. It is followed by Holland, with a 7.3. Then Germany and Spain are tied with a 7.1. Close the table Poland, which approves with a 5.6. The highest rating in Spain is given by the Poles, who give it a 7.4. On the other side, the Germans have the worst image of Spain, with a 6.7.