MS Risk Blog

Catalonia Parliament to Vote on 1 October on Split from Spain

Posted on in Uncategorized title_rule

Spanish police have detained fourteen Catalan officials and raided regional government ministries involved in organizing an independence vote declared illegal by Spain’s government.

Earlier this month, Catalonia’s parliament voted to hold an independence referendum on 1 October, effectively setting up a clash with the Spanish government, which has vowed to stop what it says would be an illegal vote. After twelve hours of often chaotic debate in the Barcelona parliament, a majority voted for the referendum and the legal framework to set up a new state, under which the assembly would declare independence within 48 hours of a “yes” vote. Lawmakers who opposed independence abandoned the chamber before the vote, with some leaving Catalan flags in theie empty seats.

While polls in the northeastern region show support for self-rule waning as Spain’s economy improves, the majority of Catalans do not want the opportunity to vote on whether to split from Spain. The government has asked the Spanish constitutional court to declare the referendum law void as soon as it is approved by the regional parliament. The Spanish constitution states that the country is indivisible.

Tensions in recent weeks have continued to rise, with the arrest of Josep Maria Jove, number two in the Catalan vice presidency, and others held. Thousands of Catalans have now taken to the streets in protest, with the region’s president complaining of a power grab. Last week, an operation targeted over forty ministries and offices as well as three private companies – the move being a dramatic intensification of Spain’s attempt to stop the vote taking place. Reports have indicated that an estimated 10 million ballot papers were found in a warehouse located outside Barcelona.

While Spain did not stop an earlier vote taking place in November 2014, this time the Catalan leadership is planning a declaration of independence within 48 hours of a Yes vote.