What’s going on in Catalonia?

Why Catalans want to decide on their future in a referendum

By Isaac Salvatierra, Ricard Marfà, Idoia Longan

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Catalanswanttovote

On 9 November, Catalonia made a new peaceful, civic protest to claim its right to decide its political future, against the Spanish Government's blockade.

Cristina Calderer

9th November 2014

2,3 million Catalans took part on a symbolic vote to claim its right to decide on its political future.

YES
NO

81% of participants voted Yes to independence. Those in favour of Catalonia becoming a state within Spain (federal option) were 10% of votes. Finally, 4,5% voted in favor of making no changes to the current situation, wanting Catalonia to remain an autonomous region within Spain.

THE FOLLOWING TWO-PART QUESTION IS AGREED ON

CONSULTATION ON CATALAN SELF-RULE 2014

Do you want Catalonia to become a state?

xYES

If so,
Do you want that state to be independent?

xYESxNO

xNO

THE PACT

On the 12th of December 2013, a majority of Catalan political forces, grouped together dubbed as the pro-sovereignty block, agree to hold a consultative poll on the 9th of November 2014.

Pere Virgili

REPERCUSSIONS OF THE CATALAN REFERENDUM IN THE WORLD


“Something as complex and emotional as national identity cannot be reduced to a purely legal issue”

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"Spain's leaders need to show some unwonted statesmanship by making a vote possible"

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"This is a political problem that requires a negotiated solution"

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"Catalonia and Spain are moving apart at a fast pace, and very little is being done to bring them back together"

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"It is a game of chicken’ between Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Catalan leader Artur Mas"

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"Rajoy appears to hope that Spain’s slow economic recovery will make the problem go away"

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THE PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA OFFERS EXPLANATIONS

CNN / al-jazeera / ARABASSAS / France24 / V7 / La Sexta / BBC / TVE / The Guardian. Per marta masedeu

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The mobilization

In June 2010 the Spanish Constitutional Court cut back the Statute of Autonomy, Catalonia’s basic institutional regulation which the Catalans had voted on in a referendum after an agreement with the Spanish state that broadened and safeguarded Catalan powers. Since then, the Catalans have taken to the streets in ever larger numbers to demonstrate.

Cristina Calderer

2012

A turning point was the 11th of September 2012. More than a million people took part in a demonstration in the centre of Barcelona and most of them demanded independence.

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Celia Atset

2013

The 11th of September 2013. Inspired by the Baltic Way in 1989, the Assemblea Nacional Catalana (Catalan National Assembly), called for a giant human chain extending from north to south through the country.

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Santi Iglesias

2014

The 11th of September 2014. Multitudes of Catalans made up the shape of a V (for vote and victory) in a mosaic that filled two of Barcelona’s main thoroughfares: the Diagonal and the Gran Via.

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Manolo Garcia

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The leaders

Unlike Scotland, the Catalan process is driven by the people. Mass mobilization has forced political parties to take a stand and demand a referendum. The consultation has the support of the President of the Generalitat and a majority in the Catalan Parliament.

Cristina Calderer

ArturMas
OriolJunqueras
JoanHerrera
DavidFernàndez
MiquelIceta
AlíciaSánchez-Camacho
AlbertRivera
J.A.Durani Lleida
CarmeForcadell
MurielCasals

President of the Generalitat de Catalunya autonomous government

In favour of the Catalan people’s right to decide

CiU (Convergence and Union) ran in the 2010 elections on a proposal of a fiscal agreement with Madrid. After Rajoy’s rejection of the proposal and the massive pro-sovereignty demonstration in 2012, Mas gave over his entire political project to the defence of the right to decide and to a yes vote on the question of independence.

President of ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia)

In favour of the Catalan people’s right to decide

A renovated ERC under Junqueras has brought together the traditional independence movement with a new and wider population of sympathisers who are unhappy with government cuts. This republican party has given parliamentary support to Mas without actually entering the government. That has allowed them to conserve their hopes for future electoral success. Opinion polls suggest that ERC would win the next Parliamentary elections.

National Coordinator of ICV (Initiative for Catalonia Greens)

In favour of the Catalan people’s right to decide

His green leftwing party, which is in broad disagreement with the policies of Mas’s government, has given their unconditional support to the Catalan people’s right to decide, despite internal divisions on the issue of independence. Herrera will vote yes-no, while co-leader Dolors Camats will vote yes-yes.

Leader of CUP (Popular Unity Candidates)

In favour of the Catalan people’s right to decide

CUP first entered the Catalan parliament in 2012 with three deputies. Fernàndez’s charisma and the recent battle between CiU and ERC over the prospect of early elections have cast this assembly-based movement, which emerged from the ranks of the pro-independence left, in the role of mediators.

First secretary of PSC

In favour of a legal consultation with the agreement of the Spanish state

The PSC (Catalan Socialist Party) once united the working class politics of Spanish migrants with the Catalan left wing. Thirty-five years later, under pressure because of the independence process and smarting from the effects of the wave of competing left wing options, the party has lost much of its institutional power. Catalan socialists have sought to create a third way, lying between the unionist and pro-independence options. Iceta is in favour of a federal reform of the Spanish constitution but differentiates himself from the Spanish socialist party by calling for a legal consultation held with the agreement of the Spanish government.

President of the PP (People’s Party of Catalonia)

Against holding a referendum

Sánchez-Camacho is competing with Albert Rivera (see below) to win the vote of those who wish to continue being part of Spain. She supports the recentralising measures promoted by President Rajoy while defending improved financing for Catalonia.

President of Ciutadans (Citizens)

Against holding a referendum

Ciutadans’s growth was fed by people’s disenchantment with the PSC and the PP in the Barcelona metropolitan area, thanks in part to the support of Spanish media. Their main rallying points are the Catalan education model and the pro-sovereignty process.

Chairman of the Governmental Committee of Unió Democràtica de Catalunya (Democratic Union of Catalonia)

In favour of the Catalan people’s right to decide

Convergencia’s Christian democratic partners vacillate between the co-federal agreement defended by their chairman and the unabashed pro-independence stance professed by their younger leaders. Duran is one of the leading proponents of the so called third way lying between the pro-independence and unionist blocks and he counts on the support of business owners with interests in Madrid and media groups.

President of the Assemblea Nacional Catalana (Catalan National Assembly)

In favour of the Catalan people’s right to decide

The traditional pro-independence movement, fragmented into many often conflicting currents, was finally able to close old wounds and create a new movement with wide popular support which has mobilized thousands of people and kept up a constant pressure on politicians.

President of Òmnium Cultural

In favour of the Catalan people’s right to decide

An historical entity that has defended Catalan identity and language from the attempts at uniformity of the Spanish state, especially during the Franco dictatorship, Òmnium Cultural has opted for a yes-yes vot and placed their nationwide organisational structure at the service of the referendum process.

CATALONIA IS A NATION

Proposal of the new Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia

30th of September 2005

votes in favour: 120

votes against: 15

abstentions

Article 1: Catalonia is a nation

CATALONIA WANTS TO VOTE

Declaration of Sovereignty and the Right to Decide of the Catalan People

23rd of January 2013

votes in favour: 85

votes against: 41

abstentions: 2

“In accordance with the majority will as expressed democratically by the people of Catalonia, the Parliament of Catalonia agrees to initiate a process to exert the right to decide in order for the citizens of Catalonia to decide their collective political future”

CATALONIA WANTS TO VOTE

Resolution on the right to decide

13th of March 2013

votes in favour: 104

votes against: 27

abstentions: 3

"To initiate negotiations with the Spanish government in order to facilitate the holding of a consultation with Catalan citizens on their future"

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Collision with the Spanish government

The Spanish government, appealing to the Spanish constitution, does not recognise Catalonia as a political subject and refuses to recognise its right to self-determination. Despite its international impact, the European Commission considers this to be an internal affair of a member state and avoids adopting an official position on the issue.

P.Hanna / Reuters

MADRID'S NOES

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT SUSPENDS THE DECLARATION OF SOVERIEGNTY PASSED BY THE PARLIAMENT OF CATALONIA

25th of March 2014

“Only the Spanish people is sovereign in an exclusive and indivisible way. No fraction of this population can be considered sovereign”.

An extract from the sentence

"The Constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation and any attempt to dissolve it is radically contrary to the Constitution"

Mariano Rajoy, President of the Spanish Government

THE SPANISH PARLIAMENT VOTES AGAINST A NEGOTIATED REFERENDUM

8th of April 2014

”It is impossible to give the Catalan parliament what it is asking for because the constitution does not allow it”

Mariano Rajoy, President of the Spanish Government

“A unilateral declaration of independence will condemn Catalonia to wander through space without recognition for ever"

José Manuel García-Margallo, Minister of Foreign Affairs

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT SUSPENDS THE DECREE CONVOKING THE 9TH NOVEMBER REFERENDUM

29th of September 2014

"All resolutions and orders dictated in the application of the impugnated normative and decree under appeal are hereby suspended"

An extract from the sentence

“Our interest is to make Catalan students more Spanish to make them proud of being both Catalan and Spanish”

José Ignacio Wert, Minister of Education

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT SUSPENDS THE ALTERNATIVE 9TH NOVEMBER REFERENDUM

4th of November 2014

“Suspending all the challenged acts and other actions in preparation of a consultation or those related to it”

An extract from the sentence

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Disaffection

For decades, Catalonia has attempted to transform Spain without success. The crisis has accentuated the economic suffocation that the state has inflicted on one of its economic engines. The fiscal deficit -the difference between what it sends to and what it receives from the central government has been one of the rallying points of Catalan civil society. The mutilation of the Catalan Statute of Autonomy, the opposition to the referendum and the attacks on Catalan language and culture have served to accelerate this disaffection.

Getty

DO YOU AGREE THAT CATALONIA SHOULD BE...

AN INDEPENDENT STATE

Centre d'Estudis d'Opinió (2006-2014)

  • Politics

  • Civil society

  • Economy

  • Courts

And now what?

NEGOTIATION WITH THE SPANISH STATE

President Mas' goal is to use the unofficial consultation on 9-N to offer to the Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, the chance to negotiate a proper referendum on the independence of Catalonia, like the one which took place in Scotlamd.

PLEBISCITE ELECTIONS

UNIFIED CANDIDATURE

COMMON MANIFESTO

Both Mas and Junqueras agree that independence has to be proclaimed in the next Parliament, but they have different views on how and when this proclamation should take place.