Catalan Independence Referenda: Update

I mentioned in this post that 130 municipalities in Catalunya had arranged to hold non-binding referenda on independence on 13 December. I've been following events (thanks to Google Translate) from the site below, and think it's high time for an update.


A good number of additional districts have managed to get arrangements in place to hold their own referendum on this date, and the total number has reached 161. Together these represent an electorate of over 700,000 people. Early voting arrangements (people can vote up to twenty days before the polls close on 13 December, although most will probably leave it until the final day) mean that polling has now begun, and that no further municipalities can join. But it is anticipated that a few hundred more will hold referenda between February and April next year, bringing the total to over 400.


As I mentioned here the Spanish Constitutional Court is due to publish a final ruling on the legitimacy of certain aspects of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalunya which was approved in 2006 with 73% support. This is has been delayed for some time, but is due in the next week or so.

It is being widely reported that the Court will rule against the Statute of Autonomy. In anticipation of this, the following joint editorial was published by twelve Catalan newspapers last week. It's worth reading:

     The dignity of Catalonia

The translation may not be perfect, but we can get the gist. It doesn't take a genius to work out that the timing is perfect. If the Constitutional Court overturns the Statute, very large numbers of people will be out on the streets in protest ... and even more will go to the ballot box on 13 December. If the Court holds off giving the expected decision until after the vote, they then bring double trouble onto the Spanish State ... because people then would be able to say that even more people would have voted for independence.

Their only real hope is to announce that they will uphold the Statute in its entirety, but after the vote ... and then claim that they have dealt with what they could spin as "the problem that led to the referenda being set up". Somehow I don't think they're even that clever, or that it would wash. And anyway, the next wave of 250 referenda in the Spring (coupled with any municipalities that might re-vote to test whether that claim is in fact justified) should clearly reaffirm what the people of Catalunya think.

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Anonymous said...

Another good post and very interesting. It's no coincindence that the Spanish state has consistently been against or at best begrudging of the new independent states. They dragged their feet in recognising the independence of Estonia, Latvia, Ukrain etc then Slovenia and Croatia, then Slovakia and are yet to recognise Kosova.

Spain had a hissy fit when the Faroe Islands gained FIFA and UEFA football status and so stopped in its tracks the similar status for Greenland which is in exactly the same constitutional situation as the Faroe Islands. All because they still have a conquistatador attitude towards the Catalas, Basques and Galicians.

Spain refused to offer a similar deal to the Good Friday Agreement to bring peace to the Basque Country. It's only by effectively outlawing 10% of the Basque poplation that the Spanish nationalist PSOE-PP coalition now runs Euskadi. One of their first acts is to water down the great strides which have been made there in Basque education under the rather dodgy claim that Spanish is under threat or that people don't want Basque education although all evidence is to the contrary.

It will be interesting to see how they handle hundreds of thousands of peacful Catalans voting quietly but strongly for independence. I think it will be too much for them.

It's not going to happen fast, but I think it's the beginning of the end of the Spanish state. Good riddance to it. The Spanish will still have their language, their Cortes, their football team - why be so spiteful and imperialist and deny the same right to other nations like the Catalans - nations which are part of the state because they lost wars against Spain in the past?


Albert said...

Thanks so much for the article.
Here is mine about yours interest in our referendas.

Diolch yn fawr am y diddordeb!!

From Catalonia,

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