Thursday, September 12, 2013

Human Chain for Catalonia's Independence

Yesterday, September 11, over 1,500,000 individuals took part in a big demonstration on the streets and roads of Catalonia (a region of Spain) and formed an endless human chain of people holding hands, on Catalonia's National Day.

The chain, named the Catalan Way, was a peaceful but powerful protest act by one part of the Catalan society calling for Catalonia's independence from Spain. It was due to link 86 towns and villages along 250 miles to push for a referendum on political self-determination for Catalonia in 2014. 

Showing international support, other small human chains took part in some world places and cities, like Paris, Brussels, Auckland or the Chinese Wall.

A recent poll has found that support in Catalonia for the referendum has risen slightly to 81%, and 52% of those questioned said they would vote in favour independence from Spain.

In a New York Times op-ed, Artur Mas, president of Catalonia, affirmed: "We do not seek to isolate ourselves. Catalans are deeply pro-European and we do not imagine a future outside the European Union. Catalonia would have the eighth largest economy in the union and would be a net contributor to its budgets. We also seek no harm to Spain. We are bound together by geography, history and our people, as more than 40 percent of Catalonia’s population came from other parts of Spain or has close family ties. We want to be Spain’s brother, as equal partners". 

However, the true is that government and public opinion in Spain remains strongly opposed to the secessionism, and according to the Spanish constitution, a referendum in Catalonia about this issue would be unconstitutional.

For now, a political agreement between Spain and Catalonia to celebrate a referendum, as existing between UK and Scotland, seems no possible.

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