- Asia Pacific
- FACTS & FICTIONS
- Health Care
- Labor & Employment
- MEDIA FRENZY
- Middle East
- On the Line
- PEACE & WAR
- PEOPLE & VOICES
- Straight talk
- The After Pill
- The Dropshot
- The Refresh
- White House
A lot of speculation has been coming out of the North-East region of Spain about the potential to form an independent state. Catalonia is again raising questions about the potential to form their own nation, with a vote to decide this matter coming on October first. The talks have been brought up again as a result of many in Catalonia who no longer like the monarchy.
If this referendum is to be held it would be the second in history, the first coming three years earlier in November of 2014. Even though the people of Catalonia voted to leave the country, their wish was not granted as the Government in Madrid, which is very conservative, combined with the Spanish courts to block this move.
Three years later, they are proving to be an issue once again. The monarchy does not want the people to decide this matter, and for good reason. Catalonia accounts for 1/5th of the nation’s economy and losing this source of income would prove to be a huge hit to their infrastructure. On the contrary, this would be very beneficial to the Catalonians.
Even though the separatists hold a majority of the seats in parliament they still face multiple problems. The first is convincing parliament to allow them to hold a referendum which doesn’t look very likely.
The national government has pledged that they will take legal motives against those who try to hold an illegal referendum, and Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, the government’s official spokesperson, said: “What I can say is what will not happen on Oct. 1 — an illegal referendum that goes against the Constitution.”
Their next issue will be convincing the Catalans that they will do better on their own, and are being held back by the rest of Spain. According to results from polls that have been taking, the population does not have the same passion for separation as they did four years ago and are evenly split.
The most beneficial result of a referendum at this point would be to determine if people would even support an official movement. But again, if this is to occur, it will be blocked and repercussions will occur. Regardless of if it is held, it will not be a binding vote.
Repercussions that may be implemented could include preventing officials that help organize the referendum from holding public office again in the future.
One factor that may benefit the separatist majority is that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has expressed interest in holding discussions about possible separation in Congress.
The main complaint that has been lodged against the monarchy is that they are blocking the people’s basic democratic right to vote.
Those leading the charge are calling on PM Rajoy to act in a similar manner as Scotland who was allowed to hold a freedom referendum back in 2014. Although it failed, they were still given the right which is similar to the situation currently in Spain.
At the moment, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo statement holds true, the announcement of a referendum to be held on October first “doesn’t mean a thing.”