Catalan delegates in solidarity visit to Scotland’s independence movement


Barcelona government plans September 2017 poll on independence from Spain 

INDEPENDENCE campaigners from Catalonia have reached out to the SNP at its ongoing conference in Glasgow, hoping to share information on both nation’s mutual moves towards independence. 

CommonSpace spoke to representatives of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia), the SNP’s sister party, about their thoughts on Catalan politics and plans to hold an independence referendum in September 2017. 

The delegates were linked with the Scottish group ‘SNP Friends of Catalonia’, which itself had members recently visit the Catalan parliament in Barcelona in a show of solidarity to the country’s hopes of self-determination. 

Roger Torrent, a pro-independence member of the Catalan parliament and mayor of Sarria de Ter, spoke to CommonSpace alongside Jordi Vilanova, communications for the international affairs commission of the ERC.

The group’s visit to Scotland follows regular attempts from political groups in Catalonia to seek alliances with pro-independence movements. 

Catalonia, a wealthy nation on the Mediterranean situated between Spain and France, faced repression of its language and culture under Franco’s fascist state. 

Since the democratisation of Spain, it gained greater autonomy and a movement slowly built for full independence.

Catalonia set to defy Spanish government in push for independence

A non-binding referendum on independence was held in November 2014, with 80.8 per cent of 2.3 million voters supporting independence from Spain. However, opponents boycotted the poll and Spain began legal proceedings against those involved in the vote.

Spain’s constitutional court has long held the view that any attempt to divide the state was illegal.

Explainer: Understanding Catalonia's battle with Spain for independence

Last September the Junts per Si (Together for Yes) party took 62 seats in the 135 seat Catalonian parliament. The radical left CUP party won a further 10 seats, giving the pro-independence parties an absolute majority. 

Pro-independence parties said that winning a majority in the parliament would be a mandate for unilateral independence given the Spanish state's refusal to co-operate in a referendum. 

There has been slow progress in the year since then towards attempting a further binding vote. 

Picture courtesy of Yes Catalonia

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