Catalan Separatists Agree on Independence But Little Else

Catalonia’s separatist parties agree they want to break away from Spain, but that’s about all they agree on.

The Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona, Spain, September 26, 2012
The Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona, Spain, September 26, 2012 (Wikimedia Commons/Andriy Sadivskyy)

A majority of Catalan lawmakers approved a plan on Wednesday to “disconnect” the region from the rest of Spain, but secession is marred by infighting among the ruling separatists.

Regional president Carles Puigdemont, leader of left-right Together for Yes alliance, said on the same day he would call a confidence vote in September. This is an ultimatum to his far-left coalition partner, the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP).

Puigdemont came to power in January under a deal with the CUP, a tiny separatist party that unexpectedly held the balance of power after the last election.

In June, it voted down Puigdemont’s spending plan, creating a crisis in the coalition that has yet to be resolved.

Unwieldy coalition

Together for Yes is itself a pact between Puigdemont’s center-right Democratic Party and the Republican Left. They teamed up in order to turn September’s regional election into a de facto referendum on independence.

Spain’s central government and Constitutional Court have blocked an official independence referendum.

Together for Yes fell seven seats short of a majority, forcing it into a coalition with the CUP.

Radicals

The CUP had no governing experience and holds radically different views from the mainstream separatists.

It would withdraw an independent Catalonia from the European Union and NATO whereas the Together for Yes parties call for membership of both.

The CUP’s economic program is basically Marxist whereas Puigdemont’s is middle-of-the-road.

It doesn’t look like the two will agree on anything but independence. Whether or not that’s enough to keep their unwieldy coalition together, we’ll see in the next couple of months.

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