The pain of recession in Spain has persuaded the people of its Catalan region to edge ever closer to independence.
Elections for its local Parliament gave almost two-thirds of the seats to parties who want a referendum on breaking away.
Catalonia in northeastern Spain has a population of 7.5 million and includes Barcelona, Spain's second biggest city.
Catalonia also produces 20 percent of Spain's GDP and its economy matches Portugal's.
From Barcelona, our Europe Editor James Mates reports.