regional independence

Regional Independence



region erode (2) seek/sought/sought
fear expand catch on (2)
stale crumble represent
apply line (2) catastrophe
gain fall apart contribute
accept complain weigh down
willing right (4) back of the line
affect pro (2) compromise
strive conflict years to come


Video: Regional Independence



First the Catalans. Then the northern Italians, including Venice, as well as the Flemish in Belgium.

There are many regions in Europe that are seeking independence — and experts fear it could erode the European Union.

Hans Bellstedt, Europe Expert: “It could expand . . . and could continue. And there’s fear it could catch on . . . and then the community of 28 states will begin to crumble around the edges like a stale cake — and fall apart.

The separation of these regions, like Flanders, would be an economic catastrophe for the national government. Flanders contributes 58% of Belgium’s economy.

The regions of Venice and Lombardy, that are also striving for independence, represent 31% of Italy’s economy.

Eckart Stratenschulte, Europe Expert: “The interesting thing about these nationalists, like the Catalans, is that they are pro-European nationalists, contrary to the likes of Marine Le Pen in France, they want their countries to remain in the European Union.”

If one of these regions does gain independence, it must first exit the EU. The date for the reentry would be uncertain.

Hans Bellstedt, Europe Expert: “I think it would sooner be five years, rather than five weeks or five months. If Catalonia would be accepted immediately as an independent state, then all the regions applying for membership would have every right to complain.”

Venice and the rest would have to go to the back of the line. None of the affected regions are willing to compromise.

The conflicts of independence will weigh down on Europe for years to come.

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1. Only Catalans would like to break away (separate) from their current countries and become independent. True or false?

2. Are there fears that separatism and independence would have a domino affect? What might be a consequence of this?

3. Would separation and independence of regions improve economies, or make them worse?

4. The Catalan nationalists have the same agenda as British and French nationalists. Is this right or wrong?

5. If Catalonia were to break away from Spain, they would automatically remain in the EU since Spain is already in the EU. Is this correct or incorrect?

6. According to the report, is independence good, bad, both or neither for the EU.


A. Why are there separatist movements in numerous countries?

B. Should these regions become independent or should they remain as they are? Is separatism for the region and main country good, bad, both, neither, in-between or it depends?

C. Are there independence movements within your country? Why do these people want independence? How do different peoples feel?

D. Which would be better for the economy of the European Union, having many different, smaller states or fewer, larger countries, or it wouldn’t make a difference?

E. What will happen in the future?


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