Why would the Balearics want to breakaway from Spain? More than 1,500 people marched through the streets of Palma on Monday night calling for the islands to be given a referendum on their future. It sounds rather amazing that anyone could imagine the islands not part of Spain. But some do. The Balearic independence movement has strong links to their counterparts in Catalonia, where the independence movement is supported by about half the population.
Spain is quite an independent country. Catalonia and the Basque Country all have strong independent movements and in other Spanish provinces the push for more home rule is growing.
So could the Balearic survive as an independent state? Well, in theory yes. The islands, thanks to tourism, have a big source of income with the Balearics paying more in taxes than they receive in investment from the central administration. The theory is that an independent Balearics would join forces with an independent Catalonia.
There is some political support for a breakaway as well. The Majorcan Nationalist Party, Mes, which forms part of the coalition Balearic government, does support independence. However, for an independence referendum to take place the whole of Spain would have to approve it, and I sincerely doubt that would happen.
While Spain is a fantastic place to live and work it is also rather divided, a trend which appears to be growing.