Catalonia and Spain: Will the referendum on independence go ahead?

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Series Details 01.08.17
Publication Date 01/08/2017
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It was announced by the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont on the 9 June 2017 that a Catalan independence referendum would be held on 1 October 2017.

Citizens would be asked: 'Do you want Catalonia to be an independent country in the form of a Republic?'

The President said that the Spanish government's refusal to negotiate on the issue of a vote on independence for Catalonia justified organising it under the authority of the Catalan Parliament.

A legislative bill would need to be adopted by the Catalan parliament during the summer of 2017 to authorise the referendum.

The Spanish government said that a Catalan independence referendum would be illegal because it was unconstitutional, and that it would file charges if any actions were undertaken to organise it.

A draft version of the bill was announced on the 4 July 2017. A reform of parliamentary procedures to facilitate the passing of the bill with just a single reading was adopted on the 26 July 2017. In response, the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on the 28 July 2017 that he would appeal to the Constitutional Tribunal. However, the new bill was officially tabled on the 31 July 2017 with the intention to be adopted on the 6 September 2017.

Spanish president Mariano Rajoy announced on the 7 August 2017 that he would take the referendum law to Spain’s Constitutional Court in order to block the Catalan government from holding the ballot.The Catalan government indicated in July 2017 it still intended to hold a referendum on independence on 1 October 2017 despite the Spanish government’s insistence that the vote would not take place.

Sebastian Balfour wrote that nothing could be more unpredictable than the outcome of the current impasse, as an almost unstoppable force, the Catalan movement for independence, is about to clash head on with an almost immovable object in the shape of the Spanish state.

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Related Links
Catalan News, 07.08.17: Rajoy to take Catalan referendum law to Spanish Constitutional Court
EUObserver, 08.08.17: Spain’s government prepares to stop Catalan breakaway vote
Catalan News, 08.08.17: ‘Ready for the final showdown’
Catalan News, 16.08.17: What are the key dates of Catalan politics on the road to the October 1 referendum?
El País, 17.08.17: Comparing Catalan independence to Kosovo makes no sense
ESO: Key Source: Catalan independence referendum, 2017
ESO: Find further information in ESO on this topic

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