Visca Catalunya! Historic result sees Catalonia win independence vote

Catalans secure 90 per cent yes vote in second independence referendum

THE CATALAN INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM on Sunday 1 October saw 90 per cent of voters back independence.

Approximately 2.3 million citizens of Catalonia turned out to vote, of a possible 5.3 million registered voters, although the vote is unlikely to be recognised by the Spanish Government.

This marks the second time in three years that Catalans have voted for their independence – in November 2014, over 80 per cent of over 2.2 million voters supported independence for Catalonia.

Both votes have been held without the consent of the Spanish Government, meaning that the results are not considered as legally valid. This weekend saw the culmination of weeks of attempts by the Spanish Government to block the vote, with police seizing ballots, closing polling stations and using force against voters, in scenes that shocked observers.

"With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state." Carles Puigdemont, President of Catalan Government

The Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said the will of the Catalan people had been clearly expressed.  

He said: "With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form of a republic.

"My government in the next few days will send the results of today's vote to the Catalan parliament, where the sovereignty of our people lies, so that it can act in accordance with the law of the referendum."

Despite the intention of the pro-independence government of Catalonia to push ahead with independence following the result, the Spanish Government continues to deny its legitimacy and describes the vote as “unconstitutional”.

READ MORE: Scottish parliamentarians turn out in support of Catalan referendum

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said: “I can tell you in the strongest terms what you already know and what we have seen throughout this day. There has not been a referendum on self-determination in Catalonia.”

Prior to the vote, the EU backed the position of the Spanish Government on the basis that a legal agreement to hold the referendum had not been reached. It was made clear that the European Commission would only recognise the result if it had been ruled as constitutional, which leaves Catalonia in an uncertain position regarding international support or recognition.

On polling day, rubber bullets and batons were used by police against voters, with Catalan medical officials reporting that over 800 people were injured. Catalan Government spokesperson Jordi Turull described the situation as “state violence unknown to Spain since the age of Franco”.

The events which unfolded led to condemnation by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, along with other SNP, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders and politicians.

The UK Government responded to calls to speak out on the situation: “The referendum is a matter for the Spanish government and people. We want to see Spanish law and the Spanish constitution respected and the rule of law upheld.”

READ MORE: SNP MSPs call on European Commission to condemn Spain and defend Catalan referendum

Picture courtesy of David Tubau

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Comments

florian albert

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 19:54

A turn out of under 43% is a weak mandate for the next step which the Catalan government has said it will take, declaring independence.
More and more, it looks as though Catalan independence supporters have painted themselves into a corner.
They should remember that the many Basques for a violent campaign for decades and failed to achieve their aim, independence for Euskadi.

Emptyheid

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 07:28

If you include the circa 750,000 votes said to have been destroyed by the Guardia Civil in their planned and targeted actions to confiscate ballot boxes, then actually the number who voted is more than half (just under 3 million out of a total electorate of 5.1 million). Of those votes destroyed we’ll never know for sure how they were split but it seems reasonable to guess why the Guardia Civil chose their ballots.....But even if I ignore the point that more than half the electorate are indeed likely to have voted for independence, I am impressed and moved by the video on YouTube which shows a voter draped in the Spanish (not Catalan) flag arriving to cast his vote. The crowd cheered and applauded. This accords with and highlights another statistic about this peaceful and non-violent campaign: that over 70% of the Catalan electorate supports their right to hold a referendum. It also highlights another point, if you are a minority, who would you rather be governed by, Madrid or Barcelona? Whilst your view @florent albert wouldn’t be shared by many in Catalonia at least it would be counted. Doesn’t that give you food for thought?

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