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Catalonia Preparing for a Referendum with or Without Consent of National Government

Top Catalan official talks of plan to hold a vote on succession this year, even if Rajoy’s government remains opposed Catalan referendum, catalonia independenc

Catalan independence

The Catalan government’s foreign policy chief has revealed it is preparing for a referendum on the region’s independence from Spain in spite of opposition from the national government. “We are now preparing the referendum because … either in an agreed way or not, we need to be ready,” Raul Romeva said today speaking at an event at the Catalan government’s representative office in London.

He also went on to say that the planned referendum could take place by the end of September: “If finally this negotiation (with the Spanish government) is getting nothing and there is no agreement we are committed and we will go ahead with organising and holding a referendum and this will be before September 2017.

The prosperous northeastern region, which has its own language and distinct cultural traditions, is home to a strong separatist movement that has long demanded such a vote to be held. Such sentiments have only grown stronger in recent years due to the effects of high unemployment and painful austerity cuts imposed by the central government. Yet any attempts to hold a referendum have always been thwarted by the Constitutional Court.

While Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s centre-right government remains fiercely opposed to a Scottish style referendum that could see Catalonia breakaway from the rest of Spain, calling any such effort an “illegal violation of the constitution”.

Although pro-independence campaigners in Catalonia did hold a symbolic vote on succession two years ago, which saw almost two million people express a desire to secede. Catalan independence 

Recent opinion polls by the Catalan government suggest a small majority of people are against succession albeit by a slim margin of 46.8 percent compared to 45.3 in favour of independence. catalan referendum

Asked whether there had been talks between the Catalan government and national governments, Romeva said: “We have met, which doesn’t mean that we have talked … There is no negotiation on the substantial issue because the Spanish government is just denying the fact that this needs to be addressed.”

Finally, in response to speculation that the Rajoy government had already put on an offer on the table for a negotiation over the issue, Romeva said that the regional government had not received any offer but would be willing to welcome one.

“We are ready and keen to negotiate.” Catalan independence, Catalonia referendum, catalan referendum, Catalonia referendum 

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