Monday

26th Jul 2021

Catalonia to press ahead with referendum after Scottish No

  • Artur Mas: 'It’s a very pwoerful message that the UK is sending to the entire world' (Photo: Helena Spongenberg)

Catalan leader Artur Mas has said the Scottish referendum has reinforced his plan to hold a similar vote at home.

Speaking in Barcelona on Friday (19 September), he noted that the devolved Catalan parliament is likely to pass a law on the referendum later the same day.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

“I will sign the decree on this consultation in Catalonia. In fact, I will call this consultation on 9 November as agreed some months ago with the majority of Catalan political forces”.

He said he would have preferred it if Scotland had voted Yes.

But he added: “I am happy, not because of the result of the referendum, but because there was one … I am very happy because we have a precedent in the European Union, a very powerful precedent, that these kind of differences can be resolved through a referendum”.

“It’s a very powerful message that the UK is sending to the entire world”.

For his part, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy earlier the same day welcomed the No vote.

He said Scotland had opted for “security” instead of “segregation” and had acted “with scrupulous respect for the legality of its country”.

The reference to “legality” comes amid Madrid’s warning that the Catalan vote is unconstitutional.

If Mas signs the local law into force, Rajoy is expected to call an emergency cabinet meeting over the weekend and to seek a constitutional court opinion as early as Monday.

Mas in his press conference warned Rajoy not to block the process, however.

“If in Madrid they think that only using the legal framework they can stop the political will of the majority of Catalonian people, they are wrong. It’s a big mistake”, he said.

“Is it possible to block a referendum? Maybe. But a real democrat would refuse to do [so]”.

Mas noted that leaders of big EU countries and EU institutions do not want to see the British precedent stimulate similar votes in other parts of Europe.

But he said that if Scotland had said Yes, they would have made a deal.

“Probably these leaders don’t like independence processes, but they accept the results [of referendums]”, he said.

With the Catalan “consultation”, unlike the Scottish vote, to have a non-binding status in legal terms, he added: “We would not have independence the next day. We would have to speak, to negotiate with Spanish institutions and with the EU”.

“It’s all about negotiations, finding compromises which are good for everyone, including, of course, Spain”.

Magazine

Breaking up is hard to do

For a frenzied 72 hours of campaigning, the future of the United Kingdom was under threat. The 300 year old settlement binding together Scotland and England in danger of being torn up.

News in Brief

  1. Macron changes phone after Pegasus spyware revelations
  2. Italy to impose 'vaccinated-only' entry on indoor entertainment
  3. EU 'will not renegotiate' Irish protocol
  4. Brussels migrants end hunger strike
  5. Elderly EU nationals in UK-status limbo after missed deadline
  6. WHO: 11bn doses needed to reach global vaccination target
  7. EU to share 200m Covid vaccine doses by end of 2021
  8. Spain ends outdoor mask-wearing despite surge

MEPs chide Portugal and Council in EU prosecutor dispute

The Belgian and Bulgarian prosecutors who were appointed had also not been the experts' first choice. Belgian prosecutor Jean-Michel Verelst has challenged the council's decision at the European Court of Justice.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. Far left and right MEPs less critical of China and Russia
  2. Why is offshore wind the 'Cinderella' of EU climate policy?
  3. Open letter from 30 embassies ahead of Budapest Pride
  4. Orbán counters EU by calling referendum on anti-LGBTI law
  5. Why aren't EU's CSDP missions working?
  6. Romania most keen to join eurozone
  7. Slovenia risks court over EU anti-graft office
  8. Sweden's gang and gun violence sets politicians bickering

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us