Press Release - Presentation

February 25, 2013 - Catalonia Press is proud to announce the imminent publication of “What's up with Catalonia? : The causes which impel them to the separation” a collection of 35 essays by leading Catalan thinkers, policy makers, and analysts, that explores the underlying issues behind Catalonia's demands for independence from Spain.

The book goes on sale officially on February 25, 2013. There will be a public presentation at the Palau Robert in Barcelona on February 27th, 2013 at 19:30h, with the participation of Roger Albinyana, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Catalan Government, Liz Castro, the book's editor, and two of the book's collaborators: Vicent Partal, director of VilaWeb, and Carme Forcadell, president of the Catalan National Assembly.

Since September, 2012, when 1.5 million Catalans marched peacefully and joyfully through the streets of Barcelona behind a single placard that read "Catalonia: Next New State in Europe", Catalonia has been steadily appearing in newspapers all over the world. A new flurry of articles appeared after Catalonia's President Artur Mas—who wrote the prologue for this book—called for snap elections in November in order to hold a referendum on Catalonia's future, and again in January when a majority in Parliament declared Catalonia's sovereignty. Unfortunately, those newspaper articles do not really grasp or communicate the complexity of reasons behind the recent polls which say that 57% of the Catalan population are in favor of independence (with about 20% opposed).

“What's up with Catalonia?” is the first book in English, written specifically for a non-Catalan audience, about Catalonia's hopes for independence, despite the fact that Barcelona consistently tops the lists of the world's most popular vacation spots (and livable cities!) and has more than 2.5 million English-speaking visitors each year. The most qualified people to tell Catalonia's story, of course, are the Catalans themselves. “With such an important issue as this one, relying on the Madrid-based press is just not sufficient," says Liz Castro, the editor of the collection, "As dedicated as some of those journalists are, it's rather like covering London from New York City." Instead, the collection goes straight to the source, featuring Catalan writers who are renowned, well-respected experts in their respective fields of economics, history, linguistics, education, literature, political science, technology, and journalism. Collaborators were eager to join the project. As contributor and linguist F. Xavier Vila said, "Finally there's a book that explains why Catalans want to decide their own future. The question isn't why I collaborated but rather, how is it that this book didn't exist already?"

The book includes a combination of carefully documented, academic articles—tackling issues like Catalonia's economic asphyxiation at the hand of Spain's central government, the demographics of the recent immigration boom and its effect on language use, and the evolution of the EU-praised Catalan language immersion system used in schools—as well as a collection of more personal testimonials on identity, culture, and Catalonia's relationship with Spain. As contributor Alfred Bosch, an MP from the Catalan Republican Left pro-independence party states, “This book is not about local issues, it's about universal issues in a particular part of the world.”

The 224 page book will be published in print and in electronic versions, and will be available through all major traditional and online resellers. A sample, including the cover, table of contents, editor's note, extracts of some of the articles, and a full index can be downloaded from

The contributors to “What's up with Catalonia?” include, in addition to President Mas, political leaders (Oriol Junqueras, Ramon Tremosa, and Alfred Bosch), community leaders (Carme Forcadell, Muriel Casals, Joan Canadell), economists (Elisenda Paluzie, Edward Hugh, Núria Bosch), historians (Josep M. Muñoz, Enric Pujol, Roger Buch), professors and other academics (Salvador Cardús, Marta Rovira Martínez, Laura Borràs, Salvador Garcia-Ruiz, Germà Bel, Andreu Domingo, Laia Balcells), journalists (Vicent Partal, Ignasi Aragay, Cristina Perales-García, Vicent Sanchis), political advisers (Xavier Solano, Pau Canaleta), technology experts (Àlex Hinojo, Josep Maria Ganyet), linguists and educators (Pere Mayans Balcells, Miquel Strubell, F. Xavier Vila, M. Carme Junyent, JC Major), and writers (Matthew Tree, Mary Ann Newman, Eva Piquer), all of the highest caliber.

For more information, press inquiries, or to request a review copy, please contact Liz Castro,, of Catalonia Press (

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