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Spain’s Constitution reform referendum would not invalidate a previous Catalan self-determination vote

The Catalan Government’s Spokesperson and Minister for the Presidency, Francesc Homs, has highlighted that the results of a self-determination vote in Catalonia would not be invalidated by a secondary vote held at Spanish level. “This is not about putting the Catalan people’s decision-making capacity in somebody else’s hands”, stated Homs on Friday. The previous day, Homs had proposed to hold such a referendum at Spanish level since he was foreseeing the need to adopt Constitutional changes based on the results of the Catalan self-determination vote. He stated that firstly “the opinion of Catalans” had to be known; secondly, a negotiation based on this vote’s results should be held between Catalan and Spanish authorities; and, thirdly, since it is likely that Constitutional changes will be needed, a referendum at Spanish level should be held.

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07 February 2014 07:53 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Executive’s Spokesperson and Minister for the Presidency, Francesc Homs, has highlighted that the results of a self-determination vote in Catalonia would not be invalidated by a secondary vote held at Spanish level. “This is not about putting the Catalan people’s decision-making capacity in somebody else’s hands”, stated Homs on Friday. The previous day, Homs had proposed to hold such a referendum at Spanish level since he was foreseeing the need to adopt Constitutional changes based on the results of the Catalan self-determination vote. He stated that firstly “the opinion of Catalans” had to be known; secondly, a negotiation based on this vote’s results should be held between Catalan and Spanish authorities; and, thirdly, since it is likely that Constitutional changes will be needed, a referendum at Spanish level should be held. However, Homs said that Catalonia is still working to consolidate the first stage, which is allowing Catalan people to hold a self-determination vote. The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, also wanted to clarify Thursday’s statements and insisted that “the decision on what Catalonia has to be belongs to the Catalans, in the same way that the decision on Scotland belongs to the Scots”.


“The one that has the sovereignty to decide on its own future is the Catalan people. An altogether different thing are the conditions to implement this decision”, explained Homs on Friday morning in a radio interview for the main privately-owned radio station in Catalonia, Rac 1. The Catalan Minister insisted that once the Catalans will have voted, a negotiation process will have to start with the Spanish Government. At the end of this process, it is very likely that Constitutional changes will be required, according to Homs.

However, Homs insisted that the democratic will of the Catalan people expressed through the first vote will not be altered. “What cannot be questioned is what the Catalan people has voted for; the conditions under which things are being done can be negotiated, but not the decision taken”, he underlined.

According to the polls it seems that around 80% of the Catalans want greater self-government powers. Furthermore, around 50% of the entire Catalan population would support independence according to the polls published this past year by Madrid-based or Catalan centres (fluctuating between 47% and 57% depending on the polls and the moments of the year). Therefore, in the two most likely scenarios, the Spanish Constitution would have to be reformed: either to allow an agreed independence or to reform the current state organisation and give Catalonia greater powers.

Homs pointed out that the motion approved by the Catalan Parliament in January already foresees a Constitutional change. However, despite the Constitutional change and the vote at Spanish level, Homs stressed that the Catalan people’s decision has to be respected. “This is not about putting the Catalan people’s decision-making capacity in somebody else’s hands”, he insisted.

The decision “belongs to the Catalans”, stated the Catalan President

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, also expressed his view on the issue. Mas stated on Friday that “the decision on what Catalonia has to be belongs to the Catalans, in the same way that the decision on Scotland belongs to the Scots”. However, in the same vein than Homs, Mas explained that whether the self-determination vote reveals that Catalans want a State within Spain or an independent State from Spain, there will be “talks with Madrid, Brussels, and all the countries in the world”. To conclude, Mas wanted to insist on the main idea and added that “the future only depends on the Catalans’ will”.

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  • Francesc Homs on Friday in Madrid's Universidad Autónoma (by R. Pi de Cabanyes)

  • Francesc Homs on Friday in Madrid's Universidad Autónoma (by R. Pi de Cabanyes)