Wednesday

13th Dec 2017

Catalan parliament backs independence vote

  • Catalonia could vote for independence next September. (Photo: SBA73)

Catalonia's rift with Madrid looks set to widen following a vote in the region's parliament to leave Spain.

On Thursday (9 October), Catalan lawmakers backed plans for a referendum, next September, on whether to remain a part of greater Spain. The bid obtained 72 votes in favour and 11 abstentions.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  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.

The move largely defies an August decision by Spain's Constitutional Court that annulled their demands to press ahead with independence. Spain's caretaker prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has also repeatedly refused to back any measure that could lead to a split.

But the prosperous northeastern region remains defiant.

Catalonia's regional president Carles Puigdemont earlier in January promised independence in 18 months. They are also setting up state structures, including a Catalan tax authority, to prepare for any future separation.

"By the end of June 2017, we will have the state structures prepared to become an independent state," said Puigdemont in September.

Puigdemont is also pressing ahead despite moves by state prosecutors, earlier this month, to ban Catalonia's former separatist chief Artur Mas from holding public office for ten years. Mas is facing the ban for his role in staging a non-binding symbolic vote for Catalan independence in November 2014.

Polls over the summer show that support for Catalan independence hovered at around 48 percent.

The latest Catalan plan also comes amid a political stalemate at the national level as party leaders fail to form a government coalition despite two elections in the past 10 months.

The Spanish electorate are largely upset over issues linked to unemployment and a string of corruption cases among the political elite.

Catalonia still asking for independence

Hundreds of thousands marched on Sunday for Catalonia's national day. The local government, while struggling to pass its budget, is trying to raise its profile abroad.

Interview

Statehood is Catalonia's 'only option'

The new Catalan government wants independence from Spain, but it also wants to convince Europe it can be "an asset, not a problem", says its foreign minister Raul Romeva.

Romania wants EU signal on Schengen membership

Bucharest expects other member states to decide on its accession to the passport-free area before it takes the rotating EU presidency on 1 January 2019 - amid criticism of a controversial new justice reform.

News in Brief

  1. EU bank delays gas pipeline decision
  2. Hungary's leftwing parties join Jobbik in anti-Orban protest
  3. Barnier: EU will not accept UK backtracking on Brexit deal
  4. Puigdemont to return to Catalonia if elected
  5. Commission approves EasyJet partial takeover of Air Berlin
  6. EU medical command centre due next year
  7. Auditors: EU 'green' farm payments fail ecology criteria
  8. Austria gas explosion creates Italian energy 'emergency'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  2. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  3. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  7. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  8. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  9. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  10. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  11. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe
  12. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage

Latest News

  1. Last chance for Poland to return property to its rightful owners
  2. Commission attacks Tusk on 'anti-European' migrant plan
  3. Volkswagen tells EU: we will fail on our recall promise
  4. EU will not start Brexit future talks before March
  5. Bitcoin risky but 'limited phenomenon', says EU
  6. Panama Papers - start of sensible revolution in EU tax affairs?
  7. Lebanon crisis overshadows EU aid for Syrian refugees
  8. New Polish PM brings same old government