Spanish Parliament rejected referendum on Catalonian independence

Apr 9, 2014 15:45 IST

The Parliament of Spain on 8 April 2014 voted to reject the request by the Catalan authorities to hold a referendum on independence on 9 November 2014. In the voting held 299 MPs voted against the motion, 47 (Catalan and Basque nationalist parties) voted in support with one abstention.

Earlier, Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish Prime Minister warned that this referendum would be an economic disaster for both Spain and Catalonia. He also claimed that the Constitution of Spain says that referendum on sovereignty must be held nationally and not regionally.

About Catalan (Catalonia) Nationalism
The region is one of the most developed regions of Spain with a population of 7.5 million. It accounts for a fifth of the Spanish economy and 16 percent of its population.

Catalonia, the land of artists Joan Miro and Salvador Dali and architect Antoni Gaudi, is also home to some of Spain's biggest companies, including banks Caixabank and Sabadell, global infrastructure company Abertis and utility Gas Natural.

The Catalonia region already enjoys a wide degree of autonomy. The region already has significant self-governing powers over its education and health systems and its police. Yet the Catalan nationalism attained greater momentum after the recent economic crisis in Spain.

The independence movement for the Catalonian region mainly arose from the perception that tax system of Spain is extremely unfair and from the tussle over the Catalan-language education system.

The authorities of Catalonia have been fighting with the Spanish government since very long demanding Catalonian independence. In this regard, in December 2013, Catalonian government had put forth two questions before the electorates of Catalonia. These were: whether they wanted Catalonia to be a state or they wanted it to be an independent state.

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