Catalonia’s leader, Regional President Artur Mas, shrugged that off as “all part of the game” of worldwide relations between Spain and its allies. Describing his remarks as “irresponsible” and “indecent”, Mas urged voters to defy the naysayers by showing up the polls on Sunday.
Mas, the Catalan president, has flexed the region’s financial muscle to issue a warning of his own, saying an independent Catalonia might not pay its share of the public debt if Spain refused to do a deal.
Ciutadans, the new centrist party in Catalonia, is likely to receive most unionist votes, polls show – an illustration of Catalans’ lack of connection to traditional Spanish parties.
The Catalan vote will also be a gauge of Spain’s upcoming general election in which Ciudadanos and the left-wing party Podemos are mounting a strong challenge to Rajoy. A unilateral declaration does not fit with Spain’s constitution, and Madrid, which ruled a referendum on autonomy in September previous year illegal, is highly unlikely to change its position.
However Raul Romeva head of Together for Yes the main separatist coalition said at a leader’s debate Saturday that the “European Union isn´t going to expel seven-and-a-half million citizens because legally they can’t”.
Spain’s Catalonia region will be automatically booted out of the eurozone and its banks will lose access to European Central Bank facilities if it becomes independent from the rest of country, the Spanish central bank chief said yesterday.
“We all need each other: unity is always better than division… let us pray for Spain, let us pray for Catalonia, let us pray for it to be faithful to its roots, for its progress, for its welfare”. “It’s to make the situation look so dire and bleak to scare people into voting”.
The government in Madrid has strongly opposed the independence push, and blocked attempts to hold a referendum on secession.
Euro commemorative coins of the “Catalan Republic” are displayed in a philately and numismatics shop in Barcelona, Spain.
So this week politicians on all sides will continue to clash over the future and the past while voters ponder over what could be the most important vote of their lives.