Catalonian vote battles legalities

Consultation on more independence still set for 9 November

According to a poll at the end of October most Catalonians would like more independence from Spain, but just less than 50 per cent would want full independent statehood.

Catalonians were presented with two questions in the poll organised by the region's government: Do you want Catalonia to become a state? If yes, do you want it to become an independent state? 49.4 per cent of those asked were in favour of full statehood and 12.6 per cent wanted more self-governing powers but not full independence, making a total of 62 per cent in favour of loosening present ties with Madrid in some way.

At present the 9 November public consultation organised by the Catalan government on more independence from Madrid is still scheduled although the Spanish Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by Spain's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy against a popular vote in Catalonia. The central government banned a referendum against independence five weeks ago but the Catalonia regional government then transformed what would have been a referendum into a form of less formal consultation.

In theory the decision of the Supreme Court to accept the prime minister's appeal should stop a vote in Catalonia for at least five months or until the court has come to a decision. But this is becoming a grey area as the Catalonian government is arguing that the popular consultation on 9 November is not a “hidden” referendum as the prime minister has claimed in his appeal to the high court.

The Catalonian government is also expected to file a judicial complaint against the Spanish government for violating Catalonians' rights and freedoms, such as the right to freedom of expression and political participation.

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