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Madrid cannot block independence referendum

Staff writer ▼ | February 3, 2014
Spain cannot block a non-binding vote on Catalan independence that could become the basis for negotiations on Catalonia's future, the president of the northeastern region Artur Mas said.
Catalan independence
Catalan independenceSpain cannot block a non-binding vote on Catalan independence that could become the basis for negotiations on Catalonia's future, the president of the northeastern region Artur Mas said.


"If I call a consultation, not to declare the independence of Catalonia nor to break with the Spanish state, but to know the opinion of the citizens of this country, a knee-jerk anti-democratic response from Spain would be pretty bad and disgraceful in the view of the entire world," Artur Mas told Catalonia's newspaper La Vanguardia.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has pledged to go to the Constitutional Tribunal to block any Catalan attempts to hold a referendum, arguing sovereignty is a matter for all of Spain to decide, but Mas said there was another possible approach, reports EurActiv.

"It is what I call the solution tolerated by the central government. They let us hold the consultation, they don't get involved, and afterwards we go to Madrid to negotiate," Mr. Mas said. He added that Europe would have to respect a peaceful, democratic independence drive by Catalonia.


 

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