You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Catalonia calls for Scottish-style independence referendum

AFP  |  Madrid 

Catalonia's separatist has again urged Spain's central to let it hold a legal referendum on independence like the one staged in 2014 with London's approval.

"The of and agreed on a referendum," the president of the regional Catalan government, Carles Puigdemont, and his vice president, Oriol Junqueras, wrote in a letter published in daily newspaper El Pais yesterday.

"And everything indicates that and will once again agree on the celebration of a new referendum on independence."

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today demanded a new independence referendum by early 2019, once the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union are clearer.

She is widely expected to get the Scottish parliament's support for her quest in a vote on Wednesday but still needs the agreement of the British to proceed.

In Scotland's 2014 plebiscite, 55 per cent backed staying in the

"The scenario of an agreed referendum is what we desire in Catalonia," the Catalan leaders wrote in their letter.

"We would like to recall that we have proposed it on various occasions. Today, despite the bad omens and the outright rejection of the Spanish government, we once again insist on it."

The of Catalonia, a wealthy region in northeastern that has its own distinct language and is home to 7.5 million people, has since 2010 sought to hold an independence referendum.

But Spain's conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has repeatedly ruled out giving the region a vote on independence, saying it would be illegal and against the constitution -- a stance supported by the judiciary.

The Catalan has vowed to hold an independence referendum by September -- with or without the approval of the central

"We will do the unspeakable so that the citizens of Catalonia can vote in 2017 in an auto determination referendum," Puigdemont and Junqueras wrote.

Demands for autonomy have been fuelled by Spain's economic downturn, leading many to resent sending tax money to Madrid to prop up poorer regions.

Recent attempts by Madrid to interfere with Catalan education have further stoked passions as did a 2010 ruling by Spain's Constitutional Court that struck down part of a 2006 autonomy statute that recognised Catalonia as a "nation" within

Opinion polls show Catalans are evenly divided on independence, although the vast majority back a referendum.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 20 2017. 07:32 IST