Friday, 24 March 2017

Catalonia Lays the Groundwork for Another Secession Referendum from Spain

Catalonia Lays the Groundwork for Another Secession Referendum from Spain

Catalan Government are pushing again for independence
The Catalonian regional government are preparing to put together another referendum vote on secession from Spain – even though such a referendum would likely not have any legal standing in Spanish law.

Two years ago Catalonia held a symbolic vote by pro-independence campaigners. Over two million voters turned up keep to gain independence from Spain, but there wasn’t much turnout overall because the referendum would have no real effect on Catalonia’s independence.

The Catalan government recently issued an opinion that showed some 45.3% of Catalans support secession, while 46.8% are against it.

It’s unlikely that there will actually be a legally binding vote. The Rajoy government and Madrid have said on numerous occasions that they are not going to countenance talk of an official referendum, and even placed sanctions and brought charges against some of the senior politicians that were involved in the last vote.

Raul Romeva, former MEP and the foreign policy chief of the Catalan government has said that he would be willing to face such consequences as he continues to push for a referendum vote in September.

Romeva says that the referendum is being prepared because Catalan needs to be ready, whether the referendum is agreed on or not. The Catalan government recently met with the Madrid government, but it’s unknown if secession was a topic of conversation or not. There have been rumours that the Spanish government has put together an offer for moving forward, but there’s been nothing concrete announced so far.

Romeva says that the Catalan government is ready and keen to start negotiating. They have given the Spanish government an offer for agreeing how and when the referendum the can be held. Romeva added that Catalonia is still going to organise and hold a referendum vote, even if Madrid doesn’t agree to it.

There has been strong demand from some Catalans to separate from Spain, with the amount of voices calling for secession growing in recent years. Catalan is wealthier than the rest of Spain, leaving many Catalans believing that it could survive and thrive as an independent nation without the need for its wealth to be funnelled and used to support poorer areas.

However, the calls for referendum seem to be falling following the strong recovery of the Spanish economy. With the Brexit and the idea of Scottish independence still on the table, some Catalans are worried that they could be shunted out of the EU at a time when it looks like membership is non-negotiable for many.