Polls show pro-independence parties are on track to win a majority in Catalonia’s regional election on Sunday – increasing the possibility of secession.
Support is strong for both parties on the left and right that propose breaking away from Spain and their victory could lead to a referendum.
However, on the streets of its largest province, Barcelona, there are still arguments for and against.
Barcelona resident Carme Gutierrez directed her anger at how Catalans are viewed by the rest of Spain: “If they said, ‘Hey – thanks for helping us out’ – because we do help them out. But they don’t, they say we’re bad, we’re cheap, we’re the worst thing possible. So bye, bye.”
Gemma, who also lives in Barcelona, does not want a separate Catalonia: “They always say it’s because of money, but it isn’t. We love a united Spain, the language, the culture. Catalonia has always taken people in, you can ask other people about that,” she said.
Many Catalans believe their region would be better off divorced from Madrid.
However, despite being the wealthiest part of Spain, Catalonia had to ask the central government for a five billion euro bailout.
Catalonia would also have to reapply for EU membership.
More than 5.4 million people are eligible to take part in the ballot.