Most Spaniards reject 'nation' of Catalonia

7th December 2009, Comments 0 comments

Some 80 percent of Spaniards reject the term 'nation' to describe Catalonia, an opinion poll said Sunday, as the country's highest court prepares to rule on the legality of the region's statute of autonomy.

Madrid - Some 80 percent of Spaniards reject the term 'nation' to describe Catalonia, an opinion poll said Sunday, as the country's highest court prepares to rule on the legality of the region's statute of autonomy.

To the question "Do you think Catalonia is really a nation", 79 percent replied 'no' and 18 percent 'yes', according to the poll released by the newspaper El Pais.

The northeastern region's statute of autonomy, approved by the Spanish parliament and endorsed by Catalan voters in a 2006 referendum, gives its government expanded powers.

But the Constitutional Court is reviewing the statute at the request of the conservative opposition Popular Party, and a decision is expected soon.

One of the most controversial points in the statute is that which defines Catalonia as a "nation" within Spain.

Spanish media has said the court is sharply divided over the issue.

If the statute is revoked, it could cause a massive political headache for Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who governs without an absolute majority and relies on the support of smaller parties, including the Catalan nationalist CiU, in order to pass legislation.

The statute has the support of the vast majority of political parties in the region, home to around seven million of Spain's population of just over 46 million people.

They have threatened to stage massive street demonstrations if any changes are made to it.

The debate over the statute comes as 160 Catalan towns are preparing to vote in symbolic referendums on December 13 on independence from Spain.

The opinion poll released Sunday was carried out on December 2-3 among 732 people.

AFP/Expatica

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