Catalonian town backs sovereignty in referendum
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