Was this an earthquake in Spanish politics? Not quite, but it’s coming soon

Catalan MonitorThe Guardian

Historic victory for Ada Colau in municipal elections in Barcelona (The Guardian)

Despite being left aside for the duration of the campaign it’s still there: the stubborn Catalan issue. At least in theory, there will be a Catalan regional election in September which – if it finally takes place – will be no ordinary vote. The Catalan government intends to turn it into a referendum on independence, no less, and if Sunday’s results are replicated then it may actually win it.

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Politics is still central to Barcelona’s rivalry with Real Madrid

Catalan MonitorFusion

madrid-barca-football-politics-independence

On first glance, the crowd seems fairly homogenous. Yes, the majority are wearing maroon and blue stripes, while one noisy corner tucked into the top of Camp Nou is decked out in white. But the voices sound similar, the faces nearly blend together. At first it’s difficult to believe the spectators are divided by 125 years of history, their political legacies positioning them at opposite ends of a spectrum. It is only when you focus that you notice the flags being waved don’t bear the Spanish shield; that the rippling chants have a dissonance that sends them off-key before finding your ear.

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Catalonia’s Nationalists Lose Support – Poll

Catalan MonitorSputnik

Catalonia’s Nationalists Lose Support – Poll (Sputnik)

Supporters of the autonomous region of Catalonia’s independence from Spain are losing strength, with less people now supporting secession, according to the Center of Opinion Studies (CEO) published Friday.

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Backing for a separate Catalan state fades

Catalan MonitorThe Scotsman

Backing for a separate Catalan state fades (The Scotsman)

Exactly a year ago an opinion poll carried out by the Catalan government showed 60 per cent in favour of independence. By December the figure had dropped to 44.5 per cent.

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Catalan Business Comes Out

Catalan MonitorThe Wall Street Journal

Catalan Business Comes Out

Some surveys suggest Catalan business executives are more wary of secession than the general population. A survey published in July by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP found just over a quarter favored a referendum on independence, while more than half favored some kind of negotiated solution to keep Spain together.

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Spain’s Catalonia seeks own tax system

Catalan MonitorPressTV

Spain’s Catalonia seeks own tax system (PressTV)

The government of Catalan President Artur Mas has enlisted a former Spanish tax inspector, Joan Iglesias, to prepare the administration to collect its own taxes. Iglesias said on Friday that the Catalan tax authority could collect about €100 billion (USD113 billion) in taxes a year, more than the €65 billion (USD72 billion) needed for an independent Catalan state.

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Catalan Independence Push Opens Divisions in Mas’s Party

Catalan MonitorBloomberg

Artur Mas (Bloomberg)

Mas’s decision to plow ahead with preparations for a Catalan state in defiance of the Spanish government is creating tensions between Convergencia and Unio, the two parties that form his CiU movement. Unio’s Ramon Espadaler, home affairs chief in the regional government, said he opposes a unilateral declaration of independence and Mas, who leads Convergencia, shouldn’t make any moves without the approval of national authorities in Madrid.

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Le président catalan veut préparer l’Etat régional à l’indépendance

Catalan MonitorLa Tribune

Le président catalan veut préparer l'Etat régional à l'indépendance (La Tribune)

Le président de la Generalitat, le gouvernement régional catalan, Artur Mas, a annoncé mardi 17 février, un plan pour « déconnecter » la région de l’Espagne. Ce plan s’inscrit dans le cadre de la convocation, le 27 septembre prochain, des comices électoraux catalans. Cette élection sera très particulière puisque les partis indépendantistes veulent en faire un scrutin « plébiscitaire », autrement dit une sorte de référendum de fait sur l’indépendance de la Catalogne.

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The Catalan Labyrinth: Independence or constitutional reform?

Catalan MonitorCatalan Assembly, Longform

2015 – a super election year for Spain – is unlikely to offer new approaches that could lead to a solution. However, should the government constellation in Madrid change, offers to Catalonia and discussions about a constitutional reform could become quite possible in 2016. If such a development does not take place, a possible separation of Catalonia from the Spanish State can no longer be ruled out.

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Better off on their own? Economic aspects of regional autonomy and independence movements in Europe

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

Europe – autonomy movements focused in prosperous regions (DB Research)

It is striking that there are very persistent regional income disparities within the countries examined. Most of the regions that have a high per capita income in relation to the rest of the country have ranked at the top or at least near the top of the standings for decades. This aspect might have reduced acceptance of the idea of horizontal redistribution between regions.

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The European regions that could be better off going it alone

Catalan MonitorThe Telegraph

The European regions that could be better off going it alone (The Telegraph)

“Nearly all the regions are among the wealthiest in their respective countries,” said Barbara Boettcher, an economist at Deutsche Bank. “The patently unequal treatment of regions appears detrimental to the general acceptance of the current system.”

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Deutsche Bank says that tax pillaging feeds independence

Catalan MonitorVilaweb

Deutsche Bank says that tax pillaging feeds independence (Vilaweb)

In a report (pdf) published this week, Deutsche Bank criticises the share-out of wealth among the territories of the Spanish state. It highlights the Catalan process towards independence and explains that the poor distribution of resources is one of the principal causes of it, in addition to the political reasons.

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Peter Geoghegan: The People’s Referendum

Catalan MonitorHerald Scotland

Herald Scotland

Anyone wanting to take stock of the events of 2014 could do worse than to include this book on their reading list. It’s a snapshot of the varied shades of opinion in Scotland at the height of its engagement with politics, and highlights how attitudes towards independence were partly moulded by the history and economic conditions of each of its regions.

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Catalonia to open 50 missions worldwide [VIDEO]

Catalan MonitorPressTV

PressTV interviews Catalan journalists on independence

After many failed attempts to bring the Spanish government to recognize an unofficial popular vote on the independence of Catalonia, the government of Artur Mas has announced it will open diplomatic missions in 50 locations around the world.

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Jordi Domingo: ‘Spain has never broken away from Francoism’

Catalan MonitorVilaweb

Jordi Domingo: ‘Spain has never broken away from Francoism’ (Vilaweb)

Jordi Domingo, lawyer, answers to the questions of the ‘Faces of independence’ series, in which well-known figures from around the country explain why they want independence and what an independent Catalonia might bring the world.

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Why Catalonia needs an Edinburgh Agreement

Catalan MonitorBlog

Scottish Conservative MEP Ian Duncan

“It remains unclear how the Catalan conundrum will be resolved. […] My gut feeling is that the issue will only be resolved when the politicians from Barcelona and Madrid sit in the same room and hammer out their own Edinburgh Agreement. Then it will work.”

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An independent Catalonia: is it a dream?

Catalan MonitorL'1dex

Marti Anglada interviewed by L'1dex

“It was an open and sincere discussion revolving on sensitive subjects, which quite often are not well understood by the Swiss, bred as we are on direct democracy and referenda. Sensitive subjects, which are almost always reviewed by our press under the light of the Madrid environment, where most of our correspondents live.”

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Catalonia to open 50 delegation offices

Catalan MonitorPressTV

Catalan independence, by PressTV

The Catalan government has announced that it aims to open some 50 embassies across the globe to represent the interests of Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain that seeks independence.

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