With only days to go, the elections are tight and only a few swing voters will determine the outcome.
Catalonia is due to vote in regional elections that nationalist parties hope will set them on the road to independence from Spain.
“We haven’t discussed the issue of independence because it’s a sensitive issue and we didn’t talk about it at the Assembly”.
“The Catalan flag and the Spanish flag with a heart at the centre”.
This week the Catholic Church also joined the chorus of disapproval, saying there was “no moral justification” for Catalonia to split from Spain. Investors in Spanish large caps Abengoa (NASDAQ:ABGB) and Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) may want to consider their holdings too. Catalonia, like Homer’s Penelope, has been forced continually to weave and reweave its autonomy.
But critics say that separatist politicians are selling a unsafe fiction.
“The excess contribution paid by Catalonia is minor, around two or three billion euros”, he told VICE News.
Jordi Aparicio, 27, said he was born in southern Spain, but now lives in the port city of Tarragona – which is just an hour’s drive from Barcelona. “The idea being that it’s not in the EU’s interest to have this problem”.
“We’re fed up with Spain getting the better part of the financial deal…”
Sara Vilà Galan is a social activist and a ICV-EUiA member of the Catalonian Parliament. “The alternative is simply anti-democratic, anti-European and potentially explosive”.
US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, among other foreign leaders, have also called for Spain to stay united. But the commission has not yet adopted an official position.
The autonomous government published a white paper past year, describing a possible path for the transition to an independent state.
The central government says Catalan independence would mean an automatic exit from the euro zone and global trade agreements, followed by capital flight and economic recession.
But there is also a kind of imperial myopia on the Spanish side of the quarrel. “The most exceptional since democracy was reinstated”, said Catalonia’s best-selling paper, La Vanguardia. Critics dismiss plans for a unilateral declaration of independence as a ploy to force a compromise with Madrid in the future. The CUP is already calling for a much more aggressive approach than Mas.
Both the European Union and Washington strongly oppose Catalan secession. “No regional parliament can contradict the national constitution”, he said. However, Greenwood claims, the government will tread carefully for fear of escalating the situation and “creating a siege mentality”.
It was an emotional end to a campaign that has seen increasingly impassioned rhetoric and the revival of historical resentments as the prospect of a breakaway bid by Spain’s economic powerhouse inches closer to reality.
“I feel Catalan, not Spanish”, said Pamen Franzi Cortez, 54, a teacher from Figaro – a small village north of Barcelona.
“We have to get to a negotiation whatever the cost and whatever the pain”, Josep Manel Busqueta, a trained economist who’s running on the CUP ticket, said in an interview in Barcelona Wednesday.
But supporters of Catalan independence argue that the risks under discussion could all be avoided if the government agreed to negotiate.
According to this “roadmap”, Catalonia would be independent between six and 18 months after Sunday’s election.
“I think Rajoy makes people angry”, Ballesteros said.
If the Catalan nationalists win a majority tomorrow, Spain may pay a very high price for its failure to develop a truly pluri-national state organisation.
In the impending election, Catalans should not be fazed by threats from the anti-independence camp. Their advantage is that they originate from Catalonia, although they have developed a nationwide following.