Past the point of no return for Catalonia

The Scots’ No vote was a disappointment, but the region is still pressing ahead with its push for independence despite Madrid’s intransigence

The World Today
2 minute READ

Josep Maria Reniu

Professor of Political Science, University of Barcelona and a member of the National Transition Advisory Council

Friday September 19 was a rare day in Catalonia. A significant proportion of Catalans had hoped for a victory of the Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum. The result was not as expected, but the day still gave us good news. The Catalan parliament passed a law on consultations and citizen participation that has allowed the president of the Catalan government to call citizens to the polls on November 9 to vote on independence. This vote in parliament took place against a background of impasse between Catalonia and the Spanish government in Madrid, with potentially destabilizing effects.

Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish prime minister, refuses to allow Catalans to decide on our political future. He couches his argument in legal terms: the Spanish constitution does not allow the holding of a referendum in which one of the answers is independence for Catalonia or any other Spanish territory.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.