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Catalonia to launch a volunteer register of citizens living abroad for the self-determination vote

The Catalan Government is preparing a decree to launch a volunteer and personal register of citizens living abroad that might be used for the self-determination consultation vote, scheduled for the next 9th of November. The decree does not explicitly mention the self-determination vote. It develops a law from 1996 regarding Catalan communities abroad. The news was disclosed by two newspapers and confirmed to the CNA by sources in the Catalan Government. These sources underlined that other Autonomous Communities have similar registers, such as Andalusia and Galicia. However, such a register would be quite useful to organise a self-determination vote without the Spanish Government's assistance.

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21 March 2014 08:54 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Government is preparing a decree to launch a volunteer and personal register of citizens living abroad that might be used for the self-determination consultation vote, scheduled for the next 9th of November. The decree is currently going through a public consultation process and it does not explicitly mention the self-determination vote. It develops a law from 1996 regarding Catalan communities abroad. The news was disclosed by two newspapers and confirmed to the CNA by sources in the Catalan Government. These sources underlined that other Autonomous Communities have similar registers, such as Andalusia, La Rioja and Galicia. However, such a register would be particularly useful to organise a self-determination vote without the assistance of the Spanish Government. Currently, Spanish authorities are totally opposed to holding such a vote and they are blocking it through a no-to-everything attitude. However, parties supporting the organisation of such a vote – which represent some two thirds of the Catalan Parliament – have been repeating that the will of the Catalan people cannot be blocked in a democratic state and within a democratic European Union. Around 75% of the Catalan population would like to hold such a vote, according to many opinion polls and the results of the last Catalan Elections (November 2012). In addition, more than 50% of Catalans would now support independence from Spain. In fact, a recent poll indicated that some 60% of the citizens would support an independent Catalan State within the EU.


Within the next few weeks, the Catalan Government will approve a decree to create a register of Catalan citizens living throughout the world. The registration will be made on a volunteer basis and will be personal. The register will be used to send information to Catalans living abroad. In addition, it will also allow these citizens to benefit from their political rights, including applying for grants and subsidies. According to the Executive, the creation of such a register is a persisting claim of Catalan communities abroad, particularly voiced by the sons, daughters and grand-children of Catalans who went into exile during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and Franco's Fascist Military Dictatorship (1939-1976).

However, it could also be used for a hypothetical independence consultation vote, particularly the self-determination vote that a majority of Catalan parties agreed to hold on the next 9th of November. The decree, nonetheless, does not mention this particular case. In fact, knowing whether this register will be used or not to create an electoral census of citizens living abroad in order to serve for the self-determination consultation vote will depend on the definitive text of the Consultation Vote Law. Such a bill is currently being debated on at the Catalan Parliament and it is expected to be approved around the summer break.

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  • A person voting in Catalonia (by ACN)

  • A person voting in Catalonia (by ACN)