Barcelona calls on Madrid for "Scottish recipe" for referendum

CEB1 103 News, Spain
CEB1 609 News, Spain

The path followed by London and Edinburgh in 2014, when they agreed in detail on the process of the independence referendum, is requested by the Government of Catalonia from Madrid. The President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, wrote an article in El Pais.

It is recalled that in 2013 the then British Prime Minister David Cameron, and the then head of the Scottish Government Alex Salmond, had reached an agreement on the 2014 referendum in which Scotland finally remained in the United Kingdom.

The two sides had agreed in every detail the whole process and especially how the question will be formulated to the citizens.

The current head of the Scottish government, Nicola Stergeon, wants to follow a similar procedure, provided she certainly manages to reach an agreement with Prime Minister Theresa May.

The President of Catalonia and the Vice President of Oriol Hunkeras wrote an article in the Spanish newspaper El Pais entitled: "Let the dialogue win, let the polls decide".

As they explain, it is time to agree on the referendum process, while expressing their concern about the fact that there is no will for dialogue from Madrid. They note that they are already sitting at the table, but the other side has not yet arrived.

They even address the rest of the Spaniards, noting characteristically: "When it will be too late, please do not look to our side. "Be demanding and critical of your uncompromising rulers, as they have been uncompromising towards us."

In essence, Barcelona is making it clear that it will move forward with the referendum plan, giving the Rajoy government one last chance to do so in a coordinated manner.

They say they are willing to discuss the referendum question, the date, and even the alternative to which the Catalans will be asked to answer.

Barcelona has not fully opened its papers on the exact date of the referendum and this is logical, since there is a proposal for dialogue. Not only in theory but also in practice, since Mariano Rajoy recently had a secret meeting with Puigdemont.

All that is known is that the referendum will take place sometime in the fall of 2017, possibly in the second fortnight of September.

There is virtually no dialogue between Madrid and Barcelona. The Spanish government is willing to discuss economic issues (eg investment in even higher growth in Catalonia), but does not discuss a referendum, primarily citing the Constitution.

In addition, Madrid is already in conflict with Barcelona, ​​due to the lawsuits facing the former President of Catalonia, Arthur Mas, for the "consultative referendum" of 2014, which was deemed unconstitutional.

In recent months, both Arthur Mas and Carles Puigdemont have toured the EU and the US to explain why Catalonia has the right to claim at least one referendum.

Puigdemont also spoke to the European Parliament, but had no formal contacts with representatives of the European Institutions. In fact, several Spanish MEPs have asked their colleagues in a friendly manner not to attend his speech.

Catalonia as an independent wants to remain in the EU, which - as with Scotland - cannot happen automatically. This has been repeatedly emphasized by Brussels.

And in the case of Scotland, the government may be in favor of the EU, but Catalonia is a different case: the ruling coalition is based on an anti-capitalist party on the left, which is obviously against the EU and the single currency.