Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Catalunya to vote on independence

This could be very interesting. The president of Catalunya has called an election that will effectively be a referendum on independence as the struggle between the governments in Barcelona and Madrid intensifies. The Spanish central government is rejecting calls for Catalunya to have greater powers to decide on how it spends the money it raises in taxes (not surprisingly in a way because Catalunya subsidises Madrid).
 It comes just a few weeks after a massive demonstration in favour of independence in Barca.

"Catalonia called snap elections on Tuesday in a drive for greater independence from Madrid as its leader demanded “self determination” for the region.

Artur Mas, the president of Catalonia in northeastern Spain defied calls from Spain’s government for unity in the face of the deepening economic crisis and announced elections for November 25. The vote is widely seen as a de facto referendum on his demands for greater independence for the region after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy last week rejected proposals for a new fiscal pact which would grant Catalonia greater taxing and spending powers.
“The time has come to exercise the right to self-determination,” Mr Mas told the regional parliament in Barcelona on Tuesday. “We do not have to justify who we are. We want the same instruments that other nations have to preserve our common identity,” he said. “The parliament that emerges will have a historic responsibility.”

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