• Spain's news in English
 

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

George Mills/The Local/AFP · 16 Dec 2013, 10:09

Published: 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
9 awesome reasons why you should spend your Erasmus year in Spain
Some 40,000 Erasmus students come to Spain each year. Photo: Pedro Armestre / AFP

9 awesome reasons why you should spend your Erasmus year in Spain

15 hours ago

It's a new school year and that means a whole new intake of Erasmus students will flood into Spain. Here's what makes Spain the most popular destination to study abroad.

Man kidnapped by gang of French nationals rescued on Costa del Sol
Ten French nationals have been arrested. Photo: Keith Allison/Flickr

Man kidnapped by gang of French nationals rescued on Costa del Sol

15 hours ago

Police in Spain said on Tuesday they freed a young Spaniard kidnapped and held for a ransom of €35,000 ($39,000) for six days in southern Spain, and arrested ten French nationals.

Rajoy: 'We’re proud to be referred to as the Germans of the South'
Mariano Rajoy visited Angel Merkel in Berlin. Photo: Tobias Schwarz / AFP

Rajoy: 'We’re proud to be referred to as the Germans of the South'

18 hours ago

The German Chancellor has applauded Rajoy for steering Spain towards economic recovery and chastised Catalonia over its independence drive.

Migrants discovered after being smuggled into Spain in car engine
The migrant was hidden under the car bonnet. Photo: Guardia Civil

Migrants discovered after being smuggled into Spain in car engine

18 hours ago

Two migrants have been discovered hidden in secret compartments in a vehicle on the Moroccan-Spanish border.

Gallery
In pics: Spain's wacky hat festival
The villagers of Tejina showed off their home-made hats. Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP

In pics: Spain's wacky hat festival

20 hours ago

Tenerife played host to one of Spain's more unusual festivals on Monday, when residents donned their wackiest hats for the annual Festival of the Pamela.

Six people dead and six injured in explosion at fireworks factory
The explosion at a fireworks factory in Pinseque near Zaragoza. Photo: Isabel Mindan / AFP

Six people dead and six injured in explosion at fireworks factory

1 day ago

UPDATED: An explosion at a fireworks factory left six people dead and six seriously wounded on Monday in Zaragoza.

Football
De Gea transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid may be off
The Manchester United goalie was tipped to head to Madrid. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand / AFP

De Gea transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid may be off

22 hours ago

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea's proposed transfer to Real Madrid appeared to be scuppered on Monday night as the move was not listed in the transfers registered by the Spanish Professional League.

Cycling
Cyclist to remain in induced coma for a week after Tour of Spain crash
Kris Boeckmans will be kept in an induced coma after Saturday´s crash. Photo: AFP

Cyclist to remain in induced coma for a week after Tour of Spain crash

22 hours ago

Belgian cyclist Kris Boeckmans will be kept in an induced coma for the next week due to the severe injuries he suffered when crashing in Spain's Vuelta, his Lotto Soudal team said on Monday.

Son arrested for starving 76-year-old mother to death in Tenerife
The son and his wife are in custody. Photo of a National Police car / Wikimedia

Son arrested for starving 76-year-old mother to death in Tenerife

1 day ago

A man has been detained after his mother was discovered starved to death, and in a state of utter neglect, weighing just 25kgs.

Spain arrests trafficker on Sierra Leone 'blood diamond' charges
The arrest of 'blood diamond' trafficker was hailed as a landmark. Archive photo: Issouf Sanogo / AFP

Spain arrests trafficker on Sierra Leone 'blood diamond' charges

1 day ago

Spanish authorities have arrested a Belgian-American man on charges of enslavement and diamond pillaging during Sierra Leone’s decade long civil war.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
What's on in Spain: Sept 2015
National
Hermit wanted for remote hilltop shrine. The immoral need not apply
National
Fury as archaeological site ruined and replaced with picnic table
National
‘I should be so lucky’: The Syrian refugee chasing his dream in Spain
National
Pensioner turns priceless fresco into 'Monkey Jesus': The Opera
Travel
Off the beaten track: Fourteen of the best kept travel secrets in Spain
Travel
Away from the hordes: Spain's ten most gorgeous seaside towns
National
Looking for a holiday romance? Come to Spain
National
Battle of the fizz: Cava takes on champagne
National
The ten most repressive points of Spain's gag law
National
Fireman fired for using hose to fill his own pool
National
What recovery? Spanish reject economic 'spin'
Hottest July ever: Spain sizzled in record month
Travel
13 delicious reasons to be a vegetarian in Spain
Travel
Eight of the most crazily cool hotels in Spain
Travel
What's on in Spain: August 2015
National
Urban allotments thrive in crisis-hit Spain
Features
10 facts you didn't know about Spanish wine
National
Best place to commute to London? It's Madrid
National
Gazpacho: Spaniards are going crazy for cold soup
Travel
Seven silly TripAdvisor comments about Spain
Politics
Hot or not? Politicans in Spain are rated on looks
National
Spanish town gives pets equal rights as citizens
National
VIDEO: Seagull steals camera for amazing bird's eye selfie
National
Spanish town brings in compulsory siesta law
National
Hero cops save newborn baby dumped in trash
National
Top 10 Spanish treats to keep you cool in summer
National
Catholic group calls for sex-segregated beaches
National
Spanish chef dumps Trump over racist slurs
National
Madrid mayor to rid city of dictator Franco
National
The survivor's guide to running with the bulls
National
The ten most repressive points of Spain's gag law
National
Spain celebrates ten years of gay marriage
Travel
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
National
Woof! The top ten dog-friendly beaches in Spain
National
Driver fined €80 for biting fingernails at the wheel
National
Castle for sale, one-time pad of mad queen, €15 million
National
And the most beautiful plaza in Spain is...?
Politics
Spanish mayor's rogue little toes go viral
Top that! Italy snatches pizza title from Spain
National
Diphtheria is 'Russian roulette with real bullets'
Politics
French PM takes flak for taking his kids on state jet to footy final
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

3,061
jobs available