Catalonian town backs sovereignty in referendum

14th September 2009, Comments 4 comments

About 96 percent of those who voted in the illegal ‘referendum’ would like to see the wealthy region of Catalonia achieve independence from Spain.

Arenys De Munt – Inhabitants of the small town of Arenys De Munt on Sunday voted in a banned local "referendum" overwhelmingly in favour of Spain's Catalonia region becoming a sovereign state.

Only 2,671 of the town's around 6,500 inhabitants voted, but of those 2,568 or 96 percent said yes to the question: "Are you in favour of Catalonia being a sovereign, social and democratic state integrated in the European Union?"

Lawyers representing the Spanish state had earlier lodged a complaint after which a judge in regional capital Barcelona deemed the referendum illegal as only the central government is allowed to call referendums.

Authorities deployed an extra 400 police in the town, with around 60 far-right Spanish nationalists turning up in buses and shouting "Catalonia is Spanish".

They left after around an hour with the inhabitants of the town 50 kilometres (35 miles) northeast of Barcelona throwing rocks and jeering at them.

A sizeable minority in Catalonia would like to see the wealthy region achieve independence from Spain.

The referendum was held as a long-delayed ruling is expected in the coming weeks from Spain's Constitutional Court on the legality of a statute that gave Catalonia enhanced tax-raising, administrative and legal powers.

The statute was passed by the national parliament in Madrid and adopted by referendum in Catalonia in 2006.

A decision by the court against it would be deeply embarrassing for Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whose socialist government needs the support of Catalan parties in parliament.

AFP / Expatica

4 Comments To This Article

  • Mirko Stanic posted:

    on 14th December 2009, 12:25:15 - Reply

    All the best for Catalan friends on their path toward full independence od homeland! I'm from Montenegro, and many of Catalans were with us when we gained our freedom 3 years ago.
    The referendum is one of the most important democratic instruments in each country, Spain includet.
  • Miquel Marzabal i Galano posted:

    on 28th November 2009, 22:18:15 - Reply

    Indeed, this article is incorrect. The referendum was not illegal.
    The referendum was NOT banned.
    Why don't you explain here that the Lawyer of the Spanish government was in the nineties candidate to the Fascist party of Franco the dictator himself?
    The same party that organized a demonstration against the referendum.
    A legal fascist party, in favor of totalitarian regimes and military opression, a party against democracy, a fascist party, allowed in a European state to demonstrate against a peaceful and democratic referendum that Spain tried to ban.
    Shame on you and shame on the Spanish government that sends fascist lawyers against democracy to Catalonia.
  • Marina posted:

    on 15th November 2009, 16:10:38 - Reply

    I agree with Marc. This article has a very well manipulated use of words and it's purely biased.
    By the way, would be fair and informative to also comment about those 60 far-right spanish nationalists, who belong tho the fascist Falange, dictator Franco's political wing....Would be worth it to read about what they are and their ideology and then you would understand why people wanted them out of Arenys.
  • Marc Balcells posted:

    on 14th September 2009, 12:01:17 - Reply

    Only two details:
    1.- A popular referendum cannot be illegal on a democracy where there is freedom of speech.
    2.- The comment "Only 2,671 of the town's around 6,500 inhabitants voted" is clearly biased, 40% of participation in any election nowadays is a huge success.