Catalonia is close to independence, despite Madrid


I represent the pro-independence Catalan Republican Left in Spain’s Congress. Part of my job, therefore, is trying to explain and sustain our quest for social justice and for Catalan Freedom in the Spanish Parliament. It is not an easy job, not only because the two main Spanish parties are against such ideas, but also because they oppose the notion of self-determination itself.

In contrast to the Scottish/British scenario, the Catalan/Spanish issue could seem in deadlock, since Madrid does not allow Catalans to vote on their future. There have been a number of proposals for holding a referendum among citizens living in Catalonia to ask the people about independence in a future Catalan Republic. These have always been rejected on the grounds that the Spanish Constitution prevents such a move. We very much disagree; rules for holding referendums are clearly stipulated in the Spanish supreme law, and as for the content (i.e. asking for independence), it is hard to sustain its illegal condition, when members of parliament like myself are freely going to the ballots on a clearly separatist agenda.

The Spanish ban, however, persists, and while this fact makes the prospect of independence harder to plan and develop, it also gives extra fuel to the Freedom cause, since fewer and fewer Catalans are happy to live in a political jail which will not admit basic and fundamental rights. Up to date, the threats and bans have only increased popular support for independence. According to opinion polls, backing for a sovereign Catalan Nation-State has gone up from 15 percent to around 60 percent in less than a decade.

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