Spanish alternative left Podemos openly support a referendum in Catalonia
In order to outline their support for the celebration of a referendum in Catalonia, Spanish alternative left Podemos added a paragraph to its political programme for the upcoming 20-D Spanish elections. Initially, the text didn’t mention the word “referendum”and just referred to “the rights of the autonomic governments to hold consultations amongst the citizens regarding the territorial fitting”. This is still stated in the programme but they have now made clear their commitment to “promote the celebration of a referendum with legal guarantees in Catalonia so that the citizens could choose the kind of territorial relationship that they would like to establish with Spain”. The programme also outlines the party’s will to evaluate and debate the experiences of the UK and Scotland and Canada and Quebec.
Barcelona (CNA).- Catalonia’s push for independence is set to be one of the main focuses of the campaign for the 20-D Spanish elections. Proof of this is the modification that Spanish alternative left Podemoshave made to their electoral programme. In order to outline their support for the celebration of a referendum in Catalonia, Podemos added a paragraph which expresses their commitment to “promote the celebration of a referendum with legal guarantees in Catalonia so that the citizens could choose the kind of territorial relationship that they would like to establish with Spain”. Initially, the text didn’t mention the word “referendum”and just referred to “the rights of the autonomic governments to hold consultations amongst the citizens regarding the territorial fitting”. Soon after the 27-S Catalan elections, Podemos’leader Pablo Iglesias spoke in support of a “pluri-national model”of Spain “where Catalonia could fit”and criticised Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s “stagnant strategy”.
An ambiguous position regarding Catalonia’s right to decide
Podemos’number two, Íñigo Errejón, assured this Wednesday that his party’s commitment to Catalonia’s right to decide its political future has always been “clear and crystalline”and that they have repeatedly supported the celebration of a referendum “with guarantees”in Catalonia. However, many parties, and even some members within the party, accused Podemosof having an ambiguous position on the subject. At a press conference this Wednesday, Errejón admitted that the relationship between Catalonia and Spain “will be a central topic in the electoral campaign”and that they therefore considered it “necessary to make an extra effort to erase any doubts”regarding the party’s position. “If it was a matter of linguistic confusion, we have now made it harder for those who want to misunderstand it”he assured.
“The commitment was already clear”added En ComúPodem’s leader Xavier Domènech. En ComúPodem is the Catalan faction of Podemos, specifically designed to run in the 20-D Spanish elections. According to Domènech, the doubts over Podemos’position regarding Catalonia’s right to decide are due to other parties’“electoral interests”.
Catalonia’s push for independence will be the focus of the Spanish elections campaign
Earlier in November, Rajoy expressed his will to set a common strategy to deal with Catalonia’s push for independence. With this purpose in mind, Rajoy met with the main political forces running in the upcoming Spanish elections, Spanish socialist party PSOE, anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans, alternative left Podemosand Spanish left IU.
According to Rajoy, Catalonia is planning to “violate the law” and he therefore takes “responsibility for leading the answer to this defiance”. Rajoy emphasised that the Spanish State “has by far enough mechanisms to successfully face this situation”and called on his interlocutors to “trust” these mechanisms and avoid “unproductive debates”on such matters, referring to the possible application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, suggested by Ciutadans’ leader Albert Rivera, which would imply the suspension of Catalonia’s autonomy.
Podemos’ leader Pablo Iglesias declared after his meeting with Rajoy that “there weren’t coincidences” and defined the Spanish Prime Minister’s position regarding Catalonia as “stagnant”and “a bunker strategy”.