Europe has witnessed a strong push for independence. In Scotland, a new referendum surrounding their independence could end up taking place. In Spain, nationalists in Catalonia and the Basque country are in a standoff with Madrid for a referendum. In Belgium, the Flemish could end up separating from the Walloons. Outside of Europe, the Maldives could end up disappearing for a completely different reason: climate change.
The Spanish economic situation has been crumbling since the worldwide financial crisis of 2008. Spain’s debt has had an unprecedented impact on unemployment and currently, 24% of the country’s population are unemployed. Since then, the country has become divided, which has led to small political groups being born. The Catalonian and Basque independence parties for example have seen an increasingly growing and more fierce media presence throughout Spain.
Belgium is split between two distinctive geographical and cultural entities: the Walloons and the Flemish. This separation is originally due to a linguistic difference but has since transformed due to an economic split. The Flemish are currently more dominant but the Walloons, who speak French, hold the European capital. Lots of Walloons want to become independent from the Flemish and become a part of France. Will the Walloon and Flemish regions be two different states within the next twenty years?
The United Kingdom
The political situation is tense in the United Kingdom. The referendum that took place in Scotland in 2014 resulted in failure for those in favor of independence. Wales as well as Northern Ireland want to be independent from England. However, if one of these countries ended up becoming independent, it could actually break up the United Kingdom…
The United States
In the United States, some states want to separate themselves from their current governing power. Several petitions to become a state in their own right have received hundreds of thousands of signatures throughout the country. The three most likely states to leave the United States are Hawaii, Alaska and Texas.
The Maldives have suffered a silent, natural disaster… Due to climate change, the Maldives could end up disappearing due to environmental factors instead of economical or political factors as is the case with the countries mentioned above. Mohamed Nasheed, the president of the Maldives from 2008 to 2012, has been described as a ‘national hero’ by Time Magazine. A year after his inauguration, he organized a Council of Ministers three meters below sea level to alert the world about the eventual risks of the country disappearing. Raising awareness about the consequences of climate change was a priority during his presidency, and he claimed that his fight against climate change is just as important as the fight that he carried out for democracy in his country. Since the rising sea levels are undoubtedly inevitable, he has even considered buying a large area of land that could hold the population of the Maldives.