• Spain's news in English
 

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

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
The Local List
Six of the best gourmet burger joints in Madrid
It's World Hamburger Day. Photo: Silver Diner / Wikimedia

Six of the best gourmet burger joints in Madrid

To celebrate World Hamburger Day (yes, it really exists) here is The Local's pick of some of the best burgers in Madrid. READ  

Spanish judge opens case against Boko Haram
Chadian soldiers display arms captured from Boko Haram in northern Nigeria in April 2015. Photo: Philippe Desmazes

Spanish judge opens case against Boko Haram

A Spanish High Court judge has agreed to hear a lawsuit against Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram and its leader Abubakar Shekau for crimes against humanity and terrorism. READ  

Catalan lions and bears to start new life in USA
A lioness sleeps in Madrid's zoo. Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP

Catalan lions and bears to start new life in USA

The wild animals have finally found a new home across the Atlantic after years spent in limbo since their Catalan safari park went bankrupt. READ  

Shocking video
Horse deaths reveal dark side of Rocio pilgrimage
Each year horses, donkeys and mules suffer abuse during El Rocio. Photo: PACMA

Horse deaths reveal dark side of Rocio pilgrimage

Shocking footage reveals the cruelty suffered by horses, donkeys and mules during Andalusia’s largest and most famous pilgrimage. READ  

Eta weapons cache found in French villa
A man walks past a mural in Hernani. Photo: Ander Arrizurieta / AFP

Eta weapons cache found in French villa

Police raided a villa in the southern French town of Biarritz on Thursday and found weapons and bomb-making materials thought to belong to Basque separatist group Eta, according to security sources. READ  

The Local List
The ten best places for foodies in Barcelona
Barcelona is a foodie paradise. Photo: www.hofmann-bcn.com

The ten best places for foodies in Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the best European cities for foodies, where you can find everything from Michelin starred greatness to restaurants that have been in the same family for generations. Barcelona expert Rob Dobson tells us his top ten foodie favourites. READ  

John Kerry to make first official visit to Spain
John Kerry pictured in Maryland in March 2015. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP

John Kerry to make first official visit to Spain

US Secretary of State John Kerry will make his first official visit to Spain, after travelling to Geneva this weekend to meet with his Iranian counterpart in a push to seal a landmark nuclear deal. READ  

Gang trafficking Afghans to EU busted in Spain
The gang operated out of Madrid. Photo: mwagner01 / Freeimages.com

Gang trafficking Afghans to EU busted in Spain

Police in Spain have broken up a gang that smuggled Afghans into Europe for a fee of €23,000 READ  

Air traffic controllers call June strike across Spain
Passengers waiting at Madrid Barajas airport during the 2010 air traffic controllers strike. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

Air traffic controllers call June strike across Spain

Spanish air traffic controllers have announced four days of strikes in June, threatening travel chaos during peak season for tourists visiting Spain. READ  

Girl, 11, sold by parents into marriage in Spain
Photograph of a silhouette of a girl. Photo: Ahmed Shiham / Flickr

Girl, 11, sold by parents into marriage in Spain

Police have rescued an 11-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped and beaten after being sold for marriage by her parents for €17,000 euros. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: 9 questions every expat should ask
Education
7 reasons for Spain's newfound love of English
Features
7 reasons why Spain's the best place on earth
National
What’s on in Spain: May 2015
National
The perks and quirks of having a baby in Spain
National
Iceland revokes order to 'kill Basques on sight'
National
Five reasons why it’s good to be gay in Spain
National
Job creation? The truth behind Spain's figures
National
Spain among ten best countries to be a mum
National
The ten greatest things about Spain (in the UK)
National
British expats fall victim to NHS clampdown
Features
Top ten: Madrid's best rooftop bars
Travel
Benidorm: Cultural wonder of the world?
National
King Juan Carlos led 'double-life' with lover
Features
Ten best UNESCO world heritage sites in Spain
Features
Happy book day! Top ten Spanish literary gifts
Features
All the fun of the fair: Seville's Feria de Abril
National
Off with her hair! Queen Letizia debuts new do
National
Barcelona bans tourists from famous market
National
Rockers pen 'We don't love Ryanair' ballad
Travel
Location tours start for 'Game of Thrones' fans
National
Top ten things to do in Castellón
First house sold by lottery ticket in Spain
National
Official: Francisco Franco was a dictator
National
Olives and vino at risk from climate change
National
Olé! Madonna orders tour bullfighting suits
National
Jihadists planned attacks in Spain: judge
Politics
Spain's 'Citizens' party fires up voters
Travel
'No pooing': village tells pilgrims in north Spain
National
Spain gets first memorial stones to Nazi victims
National
Town in shock at expat double murder
National
Brit family of four dead after Gibraltar stabbing
National
What's on in Spain: April 2015
National
Priest arrested for exorcism on anorexic girl
National
Could this be Spain's own Maggie Thatcher?
National
Spain outstrips France and Italy in wine exports
National
What country is Catalonia most like?
International
Exposed: actress who faked Oscar glory
Society
Ten phrases you'll only hear at work in Spain
National
Brooms up! Quidditch casts its spell over Spain
International
Spanish crowned world's happiest language
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

3,368
jobs available