Saturday News Roundup

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

Ara interactive screenshot
Ara | [Interactive] What’s going on in Catalonia
This is one of the best interactive backgrounders on Catalonia to date, produced by the leading Catalan paper Ara. A visually appealing account of recent history, key actors and international reactions, essential to better understand the news on Catalonia.

Vilaweb | Editorial: Homage to Catalans
Following yesterday’s editorial in English language by Ara, today is the turn of Vilaweb, one of Catalonia’s prominent online dailies, to publish an op-ed signed by the director Vicent Partal.

Al Jazeera America | Yes we Catalan? Barcelona braces for an independence vote
Sunday’s poll is not a binding referendum but could boost the campaign to secede from Spain.

Ian Duncan | Why Is a Unionist in Catalonia
Scottish Conservative MEP Ian Duncan leads a delegation of European Parliamentarians in Catalonia: “Before I am a Unionist, before I am a Conservative, I am a democrat. I believe that the right to vote is one of the most fundamental and precious rights we enjoy.”

Bloomberg | Catalans Prepare to Open the Polls in Defiance of Spain
In more than 900 towns across Catalonia, an army of volunteers is preparing to open polling stations tomorrow and offer compatriots a vote on independence in defiance of Spain’s central government and its highest court.

The Wall Street Journal | Southern Spain Watches Catalan Independence Vote Warily [available here] As the wealthy, northern Catalonia region holds a symbolic vote on independence on Sunday, Spain’s slow-paced, deep south is deeply worried. For decades, less-developed regions in southern Spain have been subsidized by taxes transferred from more dynamic, industrial economies such as Catalonia.

BBC screenshot
BBC | Catalonia vote: Freeing the ballot box
Can independence supporters be trusted not to serve up a box of tricks? “Definitely,” he said. “Whenever there is an election, you are always relying on people’s civic duty. I take this very seriously, as a first step towards a way of doing things as an independent country.” Then he frowned and added: “Look, we are being forced into this mock-up election because Spain did not allow us a regular one. This is the best we can do under the circumstances.”

Russia Today | Catalans gear up for symbolic independence vote Sunday defying Madrid’s ban
Artur Mas, the Catalan president, has remained defiant in the face of the exceedingly draconian bans by Madrid on any show of support for secession. The Catalan leader swore to defend his people’s “right to decide” in the matter.

DW | Defying Spain, Catalans vote on independence
Volunteers will administer Catalonia’s independence vote Sunday. It is informal and non-binding, but Catalan activists hope for a huge turnout – which could prompt negotiations with Madrid.

Green Left | Rebellious Catalonia moves to vote, defies Spanish court
When forced to choose between a Spanish court ruling and Catalans’ enormous desire to vote on November 9, the government of the right-nationalist party Convergence and Union (CiU) came down on the side of the Catalan majority.

In so doing, Catalan Premier Artur Mas did what he said he would never do — violate Spanish state legality. This was the first time under the 1978 constitution that a regional government defied a Constitutional Court ruling.

EUobserver | Defiant Catalonia to hold independence poll
“There is a certain feeling of excitement in the air, the kind which makes the hairs on the skin stand up. Something big is about to happen.”

Le Devoir | Fronde catalane, malgré tout
Très rapidement, les Catalans sont passés de la colère et d’un discours victimisant à un discours positif, où ils ont organisé d’imposantes manifestations, comme la fameuse chaîne humaine longue de 400 kilomètres l’an dernier.

La Clau | Les événements de Catalogne agitent Perpignan
Le processus politique engagé en Catalogne a son influence dans les Pyrénées-Orientales. Le référendum du Sud suscite une motivation nouvelle chez les sympathisants de la Catalogne du Nord, sous administration française depuis 355 ans.