The autonomous region of Cataluña (Catalonia) in the Northeast has long demanded a poll about seceding from Spain.
The poll is scheduled to be carried out on November 9th this year, but many obstacles stand in the way. Artur Mas, the president of the region, has said they are prepared to change the question in the referendum on Mariano Rajoy if the Spanish government will permit the voting. The people of Catalonia wants the opportunity to decide for themselves, such as, for example, Scotland in the UK, he said. Spokesperson Francesc Homs clarifies: It is not Señor Mas who wishes to vote, it is the Catalan people. Neither the president nor the government should underestimate the Catalan desire for freedom, he said, adding that they are willing to have discussions on the matter publicly as the government has suggested.
Intellectuals are united
The regional nationalist tendencies are nothing new in Spain, but now the limit is reached, according to many intellectuals and established individuals including Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa.
“The Catalan secessionismen threatens to destroy society among the Spaniards and destroy the opportunity to live as free and equal citizens,” they say in their manifesto which was published yesterday.
Therefore, they have now gathered behind a platform that they call “Libres y igual” (Free and Equal), which aims to unite the people of Spain. The manifesto leaves no doubt about it, all signed dislike government’s strategy against the separatists. They advise President Rajoy not to negotiate with Artur Mas.
Authors, journalists, historians, philosophers and others are included in this network, which at the moment has over 50 members. They urge all parties founded on the principles of freedom, equality, justice and solidarity, to show their support through action.
Human chain for self-determination
Even in País Vasco (Basque Country), there are distinct secessionist movements and many citizens want to have their own state.
Around 150,000 people gathered last month to a manifestation of self-determination. They formed a human chain between the cities of Pamplona and Durango, a distance of 123 km! Both political parties and trade unions agreed scheme, which ran under the slogan “We are a nation, we have the right to decide.”