Catalans vote for new gov’t
BARCELONA - Reuters
A flag that symbolizes Catalonia’s independence is seen in this photo. AP photoSpain’s wealthy but financially troubled region of Catalonia was expected to choose a new government on Nov. 25 in an election that could trigger a constitutional crisis over a resurgent Catalan breakaway movement.
Opinion polls show most Catalans are set to vote for pro-independence parties, either from the left or right, handing their leader a mandate to hold a referendum on succession, despite strong resistance from the Spanish government.
In part inspired by independence drives in Scotland and Belgium’s Flanders, a growing number of Catalans believe their region, which has more people than Denmark and an economy rivaling Portugal’s in size, would be better off on its own. Polls show that between 46 percent and 57 percent of Catalans want their own country, the highest levels ever.
Catalan President Artur Mas was expected to win re-election in voting for the regional assembly in Barcelona, after he converted to the independence cause following a massive pro-secession march in September. Some Catalans said they vote for Mas’s CiU to send a message to Madrid and Europe.