NOTE! This site uses cookies

By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more detalis, see Read more

Accept

What are you looking for?


'Living abroad is not an excuse for not voting'

CNA interviews five Catalans living overseas about how they feel about the Catalan elections and what they have done to get their ballot papers in on time

SHARE

25 November 2010 10:49 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona/New York/Berlin/London/Brussels/Paris (ACN).-  Whether voting by post or travelling back to Catalonia, all Catalans living abroad will have a chance to vote in next Sunday election. Up to 133.437 Catalans who live in foreign countries are eligible to vote. This sees an increase of 25.000 people compared to the last elections held in 2006. Be it from New York, Paris, Berlin or London, Catalans try their best to get their ballot papers in. The Catalan News Agency correspondents have interviewed five citizens living abroad about their feelings on this crucial election. Some have already voted from abroad on several occasions and don't find the formal procedures difficult, but for others, this will be the first time. Either by political engagement, tradition or even through feeling a strong link to their country, they all have decided to make a difference this Sunday.


In New York, Gisela Perez has been to the Spanish consulate to register as a temporary resident in order to receive ballot papers at her home there. She has to vote by certified mail. This will be her first time doing so from outside Catalonia. Gisela is really excited about the elections, and confesses that she will vote for a party that advocates Catalonia independence. 'I haven't decided yet which party exactly, but I want to vote for independence, so I will choose one of the two new political parties that have been recently created', she explained.

The process of voting abroad is not that new for Montserrat Farré. This Catalan has been living in Berlin for 14 years and is already an expert on postal voting. Despite having been living abroad for such a long time, she feels really connected to Catalonia. For her, the distance does not make much difference, as she is just as engaged in politics as before. 'Even if you live abroad, as a Catalan you have a strong link with the country and you have a need to vote', she said.

There are those, however, who have chosen to travel back to Catalonia specifically to vote on November 28. This is the case for Eli Ayats, who, living in London, has already booked tickets to fly to Barcelona to vote. Eli will be travelling more than a thousand kilometres to place her ballot paper in the ballot box. She assumes that this is a big sacrifice, but confesses that the trip is also 'a good excuse to visit family'.

Many Catalans do decide to actually travel home when there is an election. Elisabet Casamitjana, who has lived in Brussels for 10 years, has managed to go back to Catalonia every time there has been an election. This year, however, she was not able to fly home and so has gone through the procedures for exercising her right to vote from abroad. Elisabet said that despite the distance, it is not difficult for her to be informed on Catalan current affairs. The Internet and the possibility of watching Catalan TV via satellite make it easier for her to keep up to date.  

Being in Paris, Francesc Figueras also said that distance does not affect his wish to be informed as well as participate in the elections for the Catalan Parliament. The young professional argued that 'living abroad is not an excuse for not voting'. 'Like everything, it depends on your priorities. If you are willing to vote or are engaged in politics you will go through all the procedures', he added.

Francesc has already submitted his vote by certified mail and doesn't consider voting from abroad to be more complicated than doing so from Catalonia. Like other Catalans, he is certainly engaged in the elections, and expects to make a difference with his vote this Sunday.

SHARE

  • Eli Ayats in London (by L. Pous)

  • Francesc Figueras (by J. Font)

  • Montserrat Farré in Berlin (by N. Perez)

  • Elisabet Casamitjana in Brussels (by R. Correa)

  • Gisela Perez in New York (by A. Matamoros)

  • Eli Ayats in London (by L. Pous)
  • Francesc Figueras (by J. Font)
  • Montserrat Farré in Berlin (by N. Perez)
  • Elisabet Casamitjana in Brussels (by R. Correa)
  • Gisela Perez in New York (by A. Matamoros)
'Living abroad is not an excuse for not voting'