UNLIKE the vote in Scotland concerning independence from the UK which was officially recognised and agreed by the British government, the president of Catalonia has indicated that the regional elections due for September 27 will be treated by him as a referendum despite trenchant opposition from the ruling government of Mariano Rajoy.
President of Catalonia, Artur Mas stated on September 4 that if pro-independence parties win a majority of seats – regardless of the percentage of votes cast – that the united parties would commence with secession from Spain.
Catalonia with a population of 7.5 million accounts for about 20 per cent of Spain’s economic wealth and counts Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona amongst its most populous cities but according to the most recent polls, 50 per cent of Catalonia’s people are opposed to independence.
Mas initiated an unofficial independence referendum in November 2014 after the Spanish government used the courts to block his plan to hold an official referendum and although the majority of those voting supported separation from Spain, only 40 per cent of the population bothered to vote.
The end of the month will show whether, or if, Spain will see a break up of its territory.