Catalan Groups Call for Peaceful Referendum

Posted September 30, 2017

Yesterday, Catalonia's foreign affairs chief appealed for support from the European Union for his region's disputed referendum on independence from Spain, which the Spanish government is trying to stop. Catalonia's separatist government, however, remains committed to holding it on Sunday. The court has taken the complaint under review, thus suspending the Catalan law and making all further preparations for the referendum illegal, but the supporters of the vote have not ceased their activities.

The EU has warned Catalonia it would be expelled from the bloc if it declares independence.

His government is ready to accept a "no" vote, said Romeva, and Madrid should likewise accept a vote in favor of independence.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau will ask for the mediation of the European Union (EU) in the serious territorial crisis in Catalonia, whose authorities want to hold a referendum on self-determination, banned by Spanish justice, next Sunday.

"Certainly, nobody at that point - or anybody sensible now - would interpret the constitution as saying you can't talk about changing the constitution, you can't talk about independence, or you can't talk about having a referendum".

These actions have provoked mass demonstrations and drawn accusations from Catalan leaders that the Madrid government was resorting to the repression of the Franco dictatorship.

Around 4,000 state police from other regions have been deployed to prevent the vote and maintain security. "I'm delighted so many Fifers came together to show their solidarity with the people of Catalonia".

Authorities in Catalonia said they intend to endure the disputed vote will take place peacefully despite a crackdown on the vote by the national government, who calls it illegal.

If the people of Catalonia vote for independence, Mr Puigdemont has said "from the first minute we will act as a completely independent state".

The Catalan government has vowed to press ahead with Sunday's plebiscite in the wealthy northeastern region despite a crackdown by Madrid which wants to prevent a vote deemed unconstitutional by the courts.

"A unilateral declaration of independence is not on the table, in these moments there is only an itinerary: the referendum October 1", he told eldiario.com on Thursday.

Catalonia accounts for 19% of Spain's gross domestic product and contributes €224bn (£196bn) a year to the Spanish economy, according to regional government statistics, so Madrid isn't likely to let the region go without a price. The vast majority of countries including France, the US and Turkey all have said they support a united Spain.

"The Catalan government will instead attempt to use a positive referendum result to increase its leverage in future negotiations with the Spanish government", said Laurence Allan of IHS Markit. The most that will happen, predicts another official in Madrid, is an informal exercise in which some votes may be cast in makeshift stalls.

"A referendum in Catalonia would be like a referendum in Cyprus to solve the issue".