Catalans seek independence referendum

Catalans seek independence referendum

BARCELONA - Agence France-Presse
Catalans seek independence referendum

Demonstrators hold banners during a pro-independence rally in Barcelona.

Catalonia’s parliament voted Sept. 27 to hold a public consultation on greater self-determination for the rich but indebted Spanish region.

Eighty-four of the 131 regional lawmakers voting backed the call for a “consultation” on the “collective future” of the region, whose government says it is bearing an unfair burden in the recession and wants more control over spending.

The motion did not specify the exact terms of the consultation, but proposed that it be held after a new government is elected in snap elections which the region’s president, Artur Mas, has called for Nov. 25. The government says Spain’s constitution forbids the region from holding a straight referendum, but Mas this week said Catalans had the right to be consulted on their future regardless.

Judicial instruments to stop Catalans: Official

Spain’s deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said on Sept. 27 that for Catalans to hold a consultation would not be constitutional. “There are legal and judicial instruments to stop them, and this government is ready to use them,” she told a news conference.

Mas called the snap election after Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy rejected his proposals for greater fiscal independence for Catalonia. More than a million people demonstrated in the streets of the regional capital Barcelona on Sept. 11 in favor of independence for Catalonia.