Thursday, 22 June 2017

Catalonia Arranges Latest Independence “Referendum”

Catalonia Arranges Latest Independence “Referendum”

Catalonia again tries for independence
The regional government of Catalonia has long-sought independence from Spain, and continues to be the proverbial thorn in Madrid’s side by calling for a referendum later in the year.

The Catalan government – led by spokesman Carles Puigdemont – is to oversee a simple vote of “In or Out” that, even though it will likely draw a lot of interest and bring a big turnout, will unfortunately have no legal standing in Spain at all.

This basically means that unless the Madrid government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sanctions the referendum – and they won’t – then the referendum will only be symbolic.

No one will be surprised to hear that the Catalan separatists continue their push for independence. It wouldn’t even be the first time that they have held a symbol referendum like the one being held later this year. Something similar happened back in 2014. The calls for separation from the Catalan people went unheeded back then by the Madrid government, and it’s likely going to be the same this time around.

There is a difference this time in that the referendum has been organised by the Catalan government rather than by passionate voters, which is what happened in 2014. This has led to people expecting that over 2 million people might make their voices heard, even if the result is still likely to only be symbolic. If the referendum gets a lot of support for independence then it will make it even harder for Madrid to continue to ignore the demand for change and independence.

While it is unlikely for Madrid to grant complete independence for Catalan, there could be regional elections for Catalonia in the future. It’s possible that Spain could at least afford the region some more autonomy, if not independence.

Madrid currently holds power to directly intervene in the Catalan government – something that continues to irk politicians and Catalans alike. The region has its own language and can turn Barcelona into their own internationally-recognised and respected capital city.

However, the Spanish economy has continued to grow and recover in the past few years, which has diminished the calls for independence in Catalonia somewhat. The latest official polls suggested that 48.5% of Catalans are interested in maintaining the current status quo. Only 44.3% of those polled were looking for independence from Spain.