Catalonia seeks greater freedom from Madrid
30 September 2005
BARCELONA — Catalonia moved closer to seeking greater independence from Madrid after agreeing its own statute.
The region in the north-east of Spain, which already has a degree of independence, wants to go one step further.
It wants a greater say over its own taxes and how much cash it hands to the Spanish state, it wants public schools to offer both religious and lay teaching and has declared itself a ‘nation’.
The document, agreed by the regional government or Generalitat, must now be debated by the national parliament, who may declare it unconstitutional.
But Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s minority Socialist government depends on some of the Catalan regional parties which were involved in drawing up the new statute.
So he may have to do deals with them which may involve allowing some items in the new statute to pass into law.
After months of negotiation, the five Catalan parties involved in agreeing the new statute finally came to an agreement.
The new statute would give Catalonia more power to question the taxes it pays to the State government in Madrid.
Public schools are to be able to offer religious and non-religious teaching.
It also stated “Catalonia is a nation in a nation of nations” for the first time.
It is the first statute which Catalonia has had in under a century.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news