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Early elections to move towards independence referendum

23 November, 20:23

Catalonia's regional president Artur Mas during an election rally
Catalonia’s regional president Artur Mas during an election rally


(ANSAmed) – BARCELONA – ”Catalonia is the Germany of Spain, but without holding any power. And now we want it,” is how Oriol Pujol, spokesman for the party under Catalonia’s president Artur Mas (Convergencia i Unio’, CIU), summed up the goal of the November 25 early elections.
This is also how it was described by Mas himself over the past few months: a vote on his determination to call a referendum on the region’s independence within the next four years.
The CIU is applying pressure for Catalonia to become a state within the European Union. The polls show Mas likely to win the elections, and he would like to get hold of an absolute majority for his party – which has governed the region for the past 25 years (since 1980 except for between 2003 and 2010).
Now ”enough is enough”, ANSA was told by Oriol Pujol, the 45-year-old son of former president Jordi Pujol (1980-2003).  Madrid’s latest ”no” came in on September 20, when Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy refused Mas’s proposal for fiscal sovereignty. ”Like Germany helps other European countries financially and sets down conditions, Catalonia transfers money.
However, it cannot set down any conditions,” he stressed.          Pujol admitted that the crisis had accelerated the process that on September 11 led to hundreds of thousand of people taking to Barcelona’s streets to demand independence. He said that citizens have ”lost their fear”.
The CIU spokesman is certain that Catalonia ”will not remain outside of the EU. If Europe is fighting so that Greece does not leave the eurozone and the EU, what sense would it have to throw out 7.5 million people due to the political will of one of the parties involved?”.     However, Catalonia’s request for sovereignty ”foresees the willingness to – at the same time – hand over a good deal of sovereignty to the EU, and especially as concerns defence and immigration. This is what we call interdependence,” he noted.      If the Spanish government does not agree to the calling of a referendum, ”we will seek out international laws allowing for it, since our aim is to hold a referendum in a legal manner. We believe that Catalonia’s features present the EU with new directions, but this should not prevent it from going in those directions.
Catalonia is not comparable to any other reality. At times it is said that Catalonia is like Padania,” he remarked, ”but Catalonia is not Padania, and the CIU is not the Northern League.” (ANSAmed).


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