Catalan Separatists Unite, Promise Referendum in 2014

Artur Mas Oriol Junqueras
Catalan party leaders Artur Mas and Oriol Junqueras shake hands after signing a governing agreement in Barcelona, December 19 (CDC/Rubén Moreno)

The two largest separatist parties in Catalonia joined forces on Wednesday to force a referendum on independence from Spain in 2014.

Regional president Artur Mas’ Convergence and Union and the Republican Left of Catalonia hail from opposite ends of the political spectrum but share a desire to secede from the rest of Spain.

The left pledged support for Mas’ fiscal policy which, in turn, will not include deeper spending cuts, even if the region’s finances are in dire straits. Read more “Catalan Separatists Unite, Promise Referendum in 2014”

Catalonia Votes for Independence from Spain

Catalonia has reelected regional president Artur Mas, who promises to call a referendum on self-determination for the northeastern Spanish region in his second term.

While the secessionist Convergence and Union party Mas leads did not secure an outright majority, it will probably be able to call a referendum with the support of left-wing parties.

Preelection polls predicted that two-thirds of the votes would go to parties that support independence.

The central government in Madrid has vowed to block an attempt to break away. Read more “Catalonia Votes for Independence from Spain”

Secessionist Movements Threaten EU Foundation

Catalans demonstrate for independence from Spain in Barcelona, July 10, 2010
Catalans demonstrate for independence from Spain in Barcelona, July 10, 2010 (Wikimedia Commons/Josep Renalias)

The overwhelming electoral success of Flanders’ nationalists this weekend can be seen as part of a larger Western European regionalization movement that threatens the very foundation of the European Union.

In Belgium, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, secessionist groups are on the rise while across the north of Europe, popular resentment to the prospect of perennial transfer union is mounting. Read more “Secessionist Movements Threaten EU Foundation”

Conservatives Win in Spain’s Richest State

Spain’s Socialist prime minister, José Luis Zapatero, is increasingly embattled. Without a majority in parliament, his government has had to rely on the support of minor regional factions. But a recent victory for conservatives in the country’s richest province casts further doubt on the socialists’ ability to garner support for their policies.

Regional elections in Catalonia, both the most prosperous and most populous of Spanish regions, saw gains for the pro-business and nationalist Convergence and Union as well as the local affiliate of the People’s Party, Spain’s right-wing opposition.

The Socialists were decimated in what may well have been a forecast for more regional elections next year, if not the general election of 2012. Read more “Conservatives Win in Spain’s Richest State”