• Spain edition
 
'Catalonia is Spain's next crisis': Financial Times
The President of Catalonia Artur Mas (left) and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy are divided on the issue of an independence poll in Catalonia. File photo: Lluis Gene/AFP

'Catalonia is Spain's next crisis': Financial Times

Published: 16 Dec 2013 10:09 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Dec 2013 10:09 GMT+01:00

Catalonia President Mas announced on Thursday that Catalonia planned to hold a referendum on November 9th.

Parties led by Mas's governing CiU alliance — representing some two thirds of Catalonia's government — agreed to put two questions to voters, asking first: "Do you think that Catalonia should be a State, yes or no?"

The second question would be: "If yes, do you want that State to be independent, yes or no?"

Popular Party (PP) Prime Minister Rajoy was quick poured cold water on the idea of an independence poll in Catalonia saying it would not happen.

The Financial Times, which called the vote a "palpable fudge" as it was designed to appeal to as many voters as possible, said Mas had caught Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy "off guard" with the plan.

But the UK paper also argued that Spain's "quasi-federal" system with its 17 autonomous regions had functioned quite well until Rajoy 'sabotaged' that system by having "sensitive bits of the reformed statute of autonomy of Catalonia" struck down by Spain's Constitutional Court.

The FT then called for "more federalism" and "institutional renewal" to accommodate the needs of the Catalans and the Basques.

This is "a political problem that requires a negotiated solution", said the paper.

A poll conducted in Catalonia by Spain's centre-right El Mundo newspaper on Thursday and Friday showed poor support for the region's politicians. 

Artur Mas of the CiU party was rated most highly, scoring 4.48 out of 10, while fellow pact member Oriol Junqueras of the separatist ERC scored 4.62.

The conservative PP leader in Catalonia, Alice Sánchez-Camacho, scored 2.75 out of ten.

Catalonia, with a distinct history and culture from the rest of Spain, has long been considered an engine of Spain's economy, but it has suffered in the economic crisis of recent years.

On September 11th, Catalonia's national day, hundreds of thousands of Catalans massed in a vast human chain stretching across the region to demand independence.

Catalonia's national day recalls the conquest of Barcelona by Spanish king Philip V's forces in 1714.

Don't miss stories about Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

George Mills/The Local/AFP (george.mills@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The Local List
Ten shocking corruption cases hurting Spain
Photo of corrupt man: Shutterstock

Ten shocking corruption cases hurting Spain

In a week which has seen yet another major corruption scandal bust wide open in Spain, The Local casts an eye over some of the major cases still causing headaches for the country's judges. You've be warned. READ  

Spain approves hotly disputed 'Google tax'
A spokesman for Spain's centrist UPyD party said the reform was "one of worst laws of this legislature". Google photo: Shutterstock

Spain approves hotly disputed 'Google tax'

Technology giant Google says it is "disappointed" after Thursday's decision by the Spanish parliament to approve the introduction of charges for aggregating news stories in search engine results. READ  

Military drops torture case against soliders
A Spanish soldier walks with his backpack past US soldiers at US Camp Echo in the central Iraqi town of Diwaniya in May 2004. File photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP

Military drops torture case against soliders

Five Spanish soldiers charged with war crimes over allegations they tortured prisoners in Iraq have been left off by a military court, with judges using a precedent set by former US president George Bush. READ  

€2m price tag for 'ghost village' spooks buyers
The old church at Sant Romà de Sau in central Catalonia. Photo: Josep Enric/Flickr

€2m price tag for 'ghost village' spooks buyers

Attempts to sell off an abandoned Catalan village next to a reservoir which dates back to the times of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco have proved a damp squib, with absolutely no bids coming in. READ  

Spain grows by 0.5 percent in third quarter
Photo of warehouse: Shutterstock

Spain grows by 0.5 percent in third quarter

Five straight quarters of growth have seen Spain's unemployment drop to lowest level since 2011, although it still stands at over 23 percent. READ  

Isis wants to spread Ebola: security chief
Graffiti reading "Death to Islamic State (Isis)" in the Jurf al-Sakhr area, north of the Shiite shrine city of Karbala, Iraq, on Monday. Photo: Haidar Hamdani/AFP

Isis wants to spread Ebola: security chief

The Spanish government is taking seriously discussions in internet chat rooms on how terrorists could use biological weapons including Ebola in its war against the West, a top official said in parliament on Wednesday. READ  

'Scary clown' craze hits Spanish city
Coulrophobia, or fear of clowns, has swept across France in recent weeks. Photo of scary clown: Shutterstock

'Scary clown' craze hits Spanish city

A 'scary clown' craze that has caused panic across France in recent weeks has arrived in the northern Spanish city of Gijón, local media are reporting. READ  

Top drug lord 'hid cocaine inside bananas'
Police said the suspect had been on the run since being sentenced to 17 years in jail in 2006 for drug smuggling and other crimes. Photo: Guardia Civil

Top drug lord 'hid cocaine inside bananas'

Spanish police said on Wednesday they had arrested nine people, including one of the country's biggest drug smugglers, after finding cocaine hidden among a shipment of bananas from Colombia. READ  

Spaniards 'ignorant' on impact of immigration
Spaniards mistakenly believe that the population includes eight times more Muslim people than it actually does. Photo: Lluis Gene/AFP

Spaniards 'ignorant' on impact of immigration

Spaniards massively overestimate the number of people in their country who are Muslims, unemployed or teenage mothers, but are well-informed about how long they can expect to live, according to a new 'ignorance index' released on Wednesday. READ  

Corruption focus
'Corruption virus is in the guts of the system'
A man disguised as Spain's Primer Minister Mariano Rajoy takes part to a protest against corruption in 2013. File photo: Jaime Reina/AFP

'Corruption virus is in the guts of the system'

A Madrid court on Wednesday summoned 17 suspects including five mayors and a French energy executive for questioning in a corruption scandal that has rocked the Spain government, while there were also heated exchanges in the national parliament. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Dad told to pay child support to 29-year-old daughter
Politics
'We're sorry': Spanish PM apologizes over corruption scandals
Tech
Meet Mr Biceps: Spanish policeman heats up Instagram
National
37 arrested as massive anti-corruption raids rattle Spain
National
Spain's public holidays in 2015: Official list
Health
Drug mule 'left to die' in airport over Ebola fears
National
Viral photo shows two worlds collide at Spain's African border
What's On
What's on in Spain: November 2014
National
Top Ten: the very best new Spanish words
National
Flash floods: woman dies in Canary Islands
Health
Cured: Spanish nurse with Ebola beats virus
International
Mango apologizes for 'Nazi blouse'
National
Where's the best place to live in Spain?
Travel
Top ten: great autumn getaways in Spain
National
The great Spanish cities quiz: take it now
National
Revealed: the cost of expat food in Spain
Politics
Catalan leader calls independence vote 'lite'
What's On
Games of Thrones star 'barred' from Seville film set
Education
Only one Spanish university makes world's top 200
Politics
Spanish court suspends Catalan independence vote
National
Catalonia defies Madrid and calls independence vote
National
Spanish village swaps bulls for giant balls
Society
Spain scraps plans for tough new abortion law
National
'This is a great time for entrepreneurs in Spain'
National
Loud porn movie scares locals into calling cops
National
'We'll axe Catalan autonomy but won't send in tanks'
National
Spain's Thatcher square defaced by 'Brits'
National
Top 10: best Spanish movies of all time
National
Gravedigger suspended for corpse photo gaffe
Society
Named: the best city to live in Spain
Travel
Top ten amazing activities in Tenerife
National
Spain opens door to ban on burqas
Travel
Top ten: best bike rides in Spain
Travel
Spain to reopen 'world's most dangerous walk': The Camino del Rey
National
'Catalonia could be the shock Spain needs'
National
Office slang: Top ten Spanish expressions
Sport
Think you know Spanish football? Try these amazing facts
International
Australia set to welcome young Spanish workers
Opinion
Is tourism destroying Barcelona?
Society
Fashion fail: Zara pulls plug on 'Holocaust shirt' for kids
National
Man hurt as friend swaps ice bucket for plane
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
Politics
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
Property
'Dying' town flogs off land for €200 to woo new blood
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,660
jobs available