Thursday

21st Sep 2017

Madrid vows to block Catalonia referendum

  • Catalonia is Spain's richest region (Photo: Nonegraphies)

The Spanish government on Thursday (12 December) vowed to block Catalonia from holding an independence referendum, with EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy renewing the warning that the region would no longer be part of the EU if it split off.

"The poll will not be held," justice minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon told journalists, the BBC reports.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Minutes earlier, Catalonian president and pro-independence campaigner Artur Mas said parties in his region had agreed to hold the poll on 9 November 2014.

The questions asked would be "Do you want Catalonia to become a state?" and, in case of an affirmative response, "Do you want this State to be independent? Yes or No."

Mas urged the Spanish government to "be ready for this call from a people that wants to vote freely and absolutely peacefully and democratically."

The government in Madrid has the last say on organising legally-binding referendums. A non-binding "popular consultation" may still take place, however.

Speaking in Madrid on Thursday, EU council chief Herman Van Rompuy repeated the warning that an independent Catalonia would no longer be part of the EU.

"If a part of the territory of a member state ceases to be a part of that state because that territory becomes a new independent state, the treaties will no longer apply to that territory," Van Rompuy said.

"I am confident that Spain will remain a united and reliable member state of the European Union," he added.

Catalonia is Spain's economic powerhouse, with a population of 7.5 million. It already has a high degree of autonomy. A human chain in support of Catalan independence was organised all across the region.

Recent polls show that the population in Catalonia is evenly split on the matter.

Opinion

Would an independent Catalonia remain in the EU?

The Spanish government believes it can cast fear and doubt among Catalan people by arguing that an independent state would be outside the EU and isolated from the international community.

Spain arrests Catalan officials

Armed Spanish police have arrested Catalan officials and seized ballots for an independence referendum, prompting appeals for EU help.

News in Brief

  1. Catalan leader decries Spanish government intervention
  2. Hungary set for fresh campaign against public enemy Soros
  3. Iceland's PM leads in polls ahead of October elections
  4. Erdogan demands Iraqi Kurds cancel referendum
  5. Ireland to hold referendum on ownership of water
  6. Report: May to offer €20bn as Brexit bill in Florence speech
  7. Merkel poised to win election despite CDU dip in polls
  8. EU unveils cyber security ideas

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressCommends the German Government for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  2. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  3. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  4. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  5. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  6. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  7. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  8. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  9. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel
  10. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Urges Bigger Global Role for Emerging Economies
  11. EU2017EEAre We Socially Insured in the Future of Work?
  12. European Jewish CongressFrench Authorities to Root Out "Societal Antisemitism" After Jewish Family Assaulted