Catalan independence referendum, 2017

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Catalan independence referendum, 2017
Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?
Location  Catalonia
Date 1 October 2017 (2017-10-01)
Results
Votes  %
Yes 2,044,038 92.01%
No 177,547 7.99%
Valid votes 2,221,585 97.17%
Invalid or blank votes 64,632 2.83%
Total votes 2,286,217 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 5,313,564 43.03%
Provisional results.
Source: Government of Catalonia[1]

The Catalan independence referendum of 2017, also known by the numeronym 1-O (for "1 October") in Spanish and Catalan media, was an illegal independence referendum held on 1 October 2017 in the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia, passed by the Parliament of Catalonia and called by the Generalitat de Catalunya.[2][3][4] It was declared illegal[5][6][7] on 7 September 2017 and suspended by the Constitutional Court of Spain after a request from the Spanish government, who declared it a breach of the Spanish Constitution of 1978.[8][9][10] Additionally, in early September the High Court of Justice of Catalonia had issued orders to the police to try to prevent it, including the detention of various persons responsible for its preparation.[11][12][13] Due to the many irregularities in the administration of the vote (with people being able to vote more than once in some places[14][15] despite organizers' claims to the contrary[16] and on whether there was any control about it),[17] as well as to the use of force by the National Police and Civil Guard, international observers invited by the Generalitat declared that the referendum failed to meet the minimum international standards for elections.[18][17][19]

The referendum was approved by the Catalan parliament in a session on 6 September 2017 along with a law which states that independence would be binding with a simple majority, without requiring a minimum turnout.[20][21] After being suspended, the law was finally declared void on 17 October[22] and is also illegal according to the Catalan Statutes of Autonomy which require a two third majority in the Catalan parliament for any change to Catalonia's status.[23][24][25]

The referendum question, which voters answered with "Yes" or "No", was "Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?". The "Yes" side won, with 2,044,038 (92.01%) voting for independence and 177,547 (7.99%) voting against, on a turnout of 43.03%. The Catalan government estimated that up to 770,000 votes were not cast due to polling stations being closed off during the police crackdown,[1][26][27][28] although the "universal census" system introduced earlier in the day allowed electors to vote in any given polling station.[29] Catalan government officials have argued that the turnout would have been higher were it not for Spanish police suppression of the vote,[30][31] On the other hand, many voters who did not support Catalan independence did not turn out,[32] as the constitutional political parties asked citizens to not participate in what they considered an illegal referendum.[33][34]

On the day of the referendum, the inaction of the autonomous police force of Catalonia, the Mossos d'Esquadra, allowed polling stations to open. The National Police Corps and the Guardia Civil intervened and raided polling stations after they opened.[35][36] 893 civilians and 431 agents of the Nacional Police and the Guardia Civil were reported to have been injured initially.[37][36][38] According to various sources these previously reported figures may have been exaggerated.[39] According to the judge from Barcelona that is currently investigating the accusations of police violence there were 218 persons injured on that day, 20 of which were agents.[40][41] The final official numbers by the Catalan government show that 1066 civilians and 11 agents of the National Police and the Guardia Civil, and 1 from the regional police the Mossos d'Esquadra were injured.[42]

The Mossos d'Esquadra are being investigated for disobedience, for not having complied with the orders of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia to prevent the referendum.[43] Josep Lluís Trapero Álvarez, the Mossos d'Esquadra Major, is being investigated for sedition by the Spanish National Court.[44] The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al, urged the Spanish government to probe all acts of violence that took place to prevent the referendum.[45][46]

Background[edit]

Pro-independence flags in Barcelona
Anti-independence graffiti in Badalona

The ballot was initially scheduled for no later than 17 September 2017, a result of an election pledge made by pro-independence parties ahead of the 2015 Catalan election (during the previous legislature, the Catalan government had held a non-binding "citizen participation process" about the question).

The election resulted in a minority government for the Junts pel Sí coalition (JxSí), which had won a plurality of MPs (62 of the 135 seats), plus conditional support from the 10 CUP-CC MPs. Shortly after the government was formed, it resolved to hold a referendum on independence.[47][48][49][50]

Demonstration for Catalan independence in 2010

On 24 January 2017, the Government of Catalonia held a privately organised conference[51] in one of the rooms of the European Parliament in its Brussels headquarters. The event, entitled "The Catalan Referendum", was promoted by Carles Puigdemont, President, Oriol Junqueras, Vice President, and Raül Romeva. It was attended by 500 people, among whom were MEPs, diplomats and journalists from the international media.[52][53][54][55]

Organisation[edit]

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and 700 mayors of Catalonia on the meeting at preparation of referendum, 16 September 2017
Final meeting of campaign for referendum in front of Palau Nacional, 29 September 2017

The Catalan government's decree officially calling the referendum was expected to be approved in the second half of August[56] but was approved only on 6 September.[57]

Shortly after the referendum was announced, attention focused on the issue of the ballot boxes, since the Government of Spain is in charge of providing them, whereas for this non-State-sanctioned vote, the Government of Catalonia would have to put them in place, potentially risking prosecution for the misuse of public funds. On 24 March, the Spanish Public Prosecutor's Office in Catalonia had already announced an inquiry to determine whether a referendum is in the planning.[58]

Tendering by the Catalan government for materials such as ballot papers and envelopes for a putative regional election in the region are thought by some to be an attempt to covertly organise the referendum.[59][60][61]

In terms of its organisation, the electoral roll is one of the main points in contention, since this is managed by the National Institute of Statistics, an autonomous organisation placed under the jurisdiction of the government of Spain. To access its data, polls must have been authorised by the Spanish Congress, something which is out of the question in this case.[62] Without an undisputed access to the electoral roll, the results may be deemed unreliable. Similar difficulties could be met when it comes to the electoral commission to be formed for monitoring the polling and results.[62]

An official announcement by the Government of Catalonia suggested that Catalan residents overseas willing to vote would have to register. By the end of June 2017, out of 285,000 Catalans living abroad and eligible to vote, 5,000 had registered.[63]

Tensions within the Catalan government[edit]

On 3 July 2017, President Puigdemont sacked his Minister for Enterprise, Jordi Baiget (es), who, in the face of the legal challenges, had just expressed doubts regarding the referendum taking place as envisioned by the Catalan government.[64]

Then, on 14 July, Puigdemont proceeded with a cabinet reshuffle, replacing three additional ministers in his cabinet (the ones responsible for Presidency, Education and Interior) in a move widely seen as a removal of the remaining hesitant voices within his cabinet in regards to the referendum issue.[65]

On 17 July, the chief of the Catalan police, called Mossos d'Esquadra, resigned without giving any reason. The Catalan police force is seen as key to enforcing any court orders sought by the central government challenging the secession vote.[66]

Additional isolated resignations and dismissals have been noted among some of the high-level civil servants potentially playing a role with the vote's organisation.[67][68][69][70][71]

Protests in Barcelona after Spanish police raided Catalan government buildings, 20 September 2017
Demonstrators on top of one of the Civil Guard vehicles that were destroyed by a crowd of pro-independence demonstrators on 20 September 2017 in Barcelona.[72][73]
The presidents of Òmnium Cultural and ANC, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, on top of one of the Civil Guard vehicles vandalized during the protests in front of the Catalan economy department on 20 September 2017 in Barcelona.[74] [72]

Scope[edit]

When the Spanish Constitutional Court suspended the law on the referendum on 7 September 2017, it forbade several Catalan office holders, the Catalan media, as well as the 948 municipalities of Catalonia to participate in the preparation of the referendum.[75] The municipalities were instructed to reply within 48 hours whether they intended to comply or not. Out of 726 municipalities that answered, 682 announced that they would support the referendum anyway, 41 announced they would refuse to support it, and three, including the municipality of Barcelona, answered without making their intentions clear.[76]

Around 150 people chanted slogans in favour of the police operation, the unity of Spain and against holding a referendum vote, 21 September 2017.[77]

Among those that refused to support the referendum, however, there are large population centers,[78] such as the provincial capitals of Lleida (140,000 inhabitants) and Tarragona (130,000 inhabitants) or the cities of Terrassa (215,000 inhabitants) and Hospitalet de Llobregat (250,000 inhabitants) governed by PSC mayors. The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, while refusing to make a statement whether the municipality of Barcelona would provide logistical support to the referendum or not, strongly criticised the "language of testosterone" and the pressure that she said was being exerted on the municipalities. Nevertheless, she announced that she would do anything possible to allow those in Barcelona who wished to vote to do so.[79]

Police operation to stop the referendum[edit]

The Catalan National Assembly's pro-independence "Sí" flag

On 20 September 2017, following orders of the trial court number 13, the Spanish Civil Guard started Operation Anubis. During the first day, the police officers raided different headquarters of the Government of Catalonia and arrested 14 people, including high-ranking persons, administrative staff, and company CEOs involved in the preparation of the referendum.[80] Simultaneously, several printing companies were searched for ballot papers and ballot boxes. Crowds gathered around the regional ministries to support the arrested staff and later on several pro-independence organisations, including the Catalan National Assembly and Òmnium Cultural.[81] A crowd of more than 40,000 people heeded the call made by Òmnium Cultural and ANC and surrounded the Catalan economy department, preventing the exit of the Civil Guard agents.[82][83][84] Demonstrators vandalised three vehicles of the Civil Guard and their occupants were forced to flee into the Economy Department building, a court clerk remained trapped until midnight inside the building and had to flee by the roof, while several agents were trapped throughout the night as demonstrators shouted outside "You won't get out!".[85][86][87][73] The damages in the vehicles (3 Nissan Patrol) accounted for 135,632 €. [88] The Civil Guard agents cornered into the builiding made 6 calls for help to the autonomous police force of Catalonia Mossos d'Esquadra, which were ignored. The first request for help was at 9:14 am with the subject: "Urgent - Request for support to Mossos".[83]

Both Mossos d'Esquadra Major Josep Lluís Trapero Álvarez and Barcelona Intendant Teresa Laplana Cocera were charged with sedition because of the role played by the regional police.[89] Two Catalan pro-independence leaders Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart (Assemblea Nacional Catalana and Òmnium Cultural, respectively) were sent to prison without bail by Spain's National Court. They are being investigated for alleged crimes of sedition for their role in organising these massive protests aimed at hindering the Civil Guard investigation.[90][91] On 20 September morning, Jordi Sànchez called for "peaceful resistance" to the police operation through social media.[81] The investigating judge stated that the leaders did not call for "peaceful demonstration but to the protection of Catalan officials through 'massive citizens' mobilisations"[91] and that Jordi Sànchez, on top of a vehicle, encouraged the demonstrators with expressions such as "no one goes home, it will be a long and intense night".[92] According to the judge the actions of Sànchez and Cruixat are into the scope of sedition, a felony regulated by the article 544 and subsequents of the Spanish Criminal Code:[82][93]

During the following days the Spanish Civil Guard and the Spanish National Police would be reinforced with police officers from the rest of Spain, which are expected to reach 16,000 police and military police officers distributed in different Catalan cities on 1 October 2017, and would continue to carry out searches in companies that allegedly had referendum ballots or ballot boxes.[95] This would spark multiple protest demonstrations all across Catalonia, including cacerolazos during the night.[not in citation given] Several other cities of Spain also organised demonstrations "in defense of the right to decide of the Catalans."[96] On the other hand, demonstrations were held throughout Spain in which thousands of people protested against the referendum[97][98][99] and the agents were acclaimed by the crowds in numerous cities of Spain when they left for Catalonia.[100][101][102]

Administration[edit]

Ballot paper that the Catalan government intended to use in the referendum, in Catalan, Castilian Spanish and Aranese Occitan, the three official languages of Catalonia

The Catalan Government announced it planned to hold the referendum on 1 October 2017. The Electoral Commission of Catalonia was responsible for overseeing the referendum, but it was dissolved on 22 September 2017. The campaign was planned to last 15 days, spanning from 00:00 on 15 September 2017 to 24:00 on 29 September 2017.[needs update]

According to the Catalan government,[citation needed] the following people were entitled to vote in the referendum:

  • Those who have the political condition of Catalan, are 18 years of age or older on the voting day, are not under any of the situations that legally deprive the right to vote and are on the electoral roll.
  • Those Catalans currently residing abroad and who have their last residence in Catalonia, fulfil all the legal requirements, and have formally applied to take part in the voting process.

Question[edit]

The question of the referendum was asked "Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?".[citation needed]

Ballot question
English Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?
Catalan Voleu que Catalunya sigui un estat independent en forma de república?
Spanish ¿Quiere que Cataluña sea un estado independiente en forma de república?
Occitan Voletz que Catalonha vengue un estat independent en forma de republica?

International observers[edit]

Sinn Féin representatives meeting Catalan President Carles Puigdemont ahead of the referendum.

The referendum was attended by several international observers. The first accredited international observers, led by The Hague Center for Strategic Studies, were headed by Daan Everts and consisted of 20 observers from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Poland, among others. The second international mission, called the International Electoral Expert Research Team, was headed by Helena Catt and consisted of 17 observers from the United Kingdom, France, Ireland and New Zealand, among others. There was also a delegation of 33 parliamentarians and politicians, called the International Parliamentary Delegation on Catalonia's Referendum on Self-Determination 1 October 2017, from political parties in Slovakia, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Republic of Macedonia, Monaco, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

Of these international observers, those summoned by Diplocat are not recognised by the UN as such in not recognising this Diplocat as an international observer.[103]

Due to the many irregularities and to the actions taken by the national police and civil guard, the international observers, invited by the Generalitat, declared that the referendum results could not be considered valid as the process failed to meet the minimum international standards for elections. They also criticized the police violence.[17][19][18]

Pre-result responses[edit]

One of the many gatherings across the Basque Country in support of the Catalan vote (Zarautz)

Domestic[edit]

Demonstration in Bilbao in solidarity with the Catalan referendum, 16 September 2017
  •  Basque Autonomous Community: The regional parliament showed its sympathy and support for the referendum and strongly criticised the Spanish government's stance on the issue. It denounced any measures taken against the vote or 'democracy' altogether.[104] Tens of thousands took to the streets of Bilbao at two different dates in September in support of the Catalan referendum, sovereignty and 'democracy'.[105] The latter was attended by the three main political forces of the Basque Autonomous Community, Geroa Bai, Basque nationalist unions ELA and LAB, and high-ranking public officials like the mayors of San Sebastián and Bilbao, E. Goia and J.M. Aburto.[106] ETA, for its part, issued a statement endorsing the referendum.[107]
  •  Navarre: The parliament of Navarre denounced the Spanish government's de facto 'takeover' of the Catalan devolution and urged to what the parliament referred to as a repressive approach.[108]
  •  Galicia: Over 3,000 people marched through the streets of Santiago in Galicia to show their solidarity with the Catalan vote. The demonstration was attended by representatives of En Marea and BNG.[109]
  •  Madrid: A discussion event in favour of the referendum was organised in a public venue but relocated following the Spanish Conservatives' cancellation demand to the mayor of Madrid Manuela Carmena, on the grounds that it "incites illegal actions", "defies institutions and constitutional legality" and "offends the monarchy".[110] A judge then stepped in ordering a ban on an event held in a public venue,[111] but it was eventually held on 17 September in an independent theater, growing into a rally for the freedom of expression in the street.[112] The mayor of Madrid, besides requesting the Spanish premier's resignation for his "inability to dialogue", also criticised the Catalan referendum for "not meeting the minimum standards" and the violence enforced by the Spanish police in Catalonia.[113]

UN member states[edit]

  •  Belgium: Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel reaffirmed the government's call for political dialogue in Spain, and made an official reaction to the violence used to obstruct the referendum, on Twitter on 1 October: "Violence can never be the answer! We condemn all forms of violence and reaffirm our call for political dialogue #CatalanReferendum #Spain".[114]
  •  Croatia: Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković stated that Croatia considers this referendum an internal issue of Spain, while Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs called on Spanish and Catalan government's to launch a dialogue on finding a peaceful solution to the problem.[115]
  •  China: In response to a journalist's question, on 28 September 2017 foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that the People's Republic of China believes "the issue of Catalonia belongs to the domestic affairs of Spain. We believe that the Spanish central government can properly handle relevant issues and maintain national solidarity, unity and prosperity".[116]
  •  France: On 16 June, President Emmanuel Macron stated that he considers the question of Catalan independence to be an internal issue of Spain.[117]
  •  Germany: On 8 September, Steffen Seibert, the spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, stated that Germany was interested in stability in Spain and that for this it was necessary that the law, including the Spanish constitution, was respected at all levels.[118] The German government had issued a similar statement previously in 2015.[119]
  •  Hungary: On 18 September, government spokesman Zoltán Kovács announced that they would "respect the will of the people". At the same time, he called the independence issue an "internal issue of Spain and Catalonia".[120][121]
  •  Lithuania:
    • Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said that the referendum on Catalonia's independence did not comply with the Spanish Constitution, but to use force is a failure of the Spanish authorities. The President believes that Madrid and Barcelona will, in any case, speak with one another and look for solutions to democratic problems.[122]
    • On 28 September, Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius commented that Baltic states' movement to regain independence from the Soviet Union is not comparable with situation in Catalonia due to Spain being a democracy that follows the rule of law. At the same time he urged both parties to have a constructive dialogue without any unnecessary measures.[123][124]
  •  Portugal: Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva declined to comment on the referendum in Catalonia on 27 September, but believes that the Spanish government will be able to resolve the issue, in agreement with the Spanish constitution and law. Augusto Santos Silva said that this is an internal affair of Spain.[125] In a manifesto signed by almost a hundred people, academics, deputies, journalists, doctors, journalists and notably by the former socialist presidential candidate Manuel Alegre and the former leader of the Left Bloc Francisco Louçã appealed to a "negotiated political solution" to the political situation in Catalonia, considering themselves "outraged" by the civil rights abuses committed by the Spanish Government.[126]
  •  Russian Federation: The head of the international affairs committee at Russia’s upper house Konstantin Kosachev called on the Spanish government to lead a dialogue with the Catalans. Otherwise their contradictions will only deepen, which could end with the breakup of the state, as it was also evident in Ukraine. This polling, like the earlier polling in Iraqi Kurdistan, "is another clear and evident clash of the basic principles the humanity follows: the territorial integrity and the right to self-determination." "A state should be talking to its citizens, should reach accord. Like we are doing in Russia."[127]
  •  Serbia: Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dačić, in an interview with Deutsche Welle, stated that Catalonia wants to repeat the example of Kosovo, by declaring unilateral independence without any agreement from Madrid.[128] He stated that Serbia cannot accept such a model and that it is not a political issue but a problem of international law.[128]
  •  United Kingdom: Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described the referendum as an internal issue for Spain, saying "Spain is a close ally and a good friend, whose strength and unity matters to the UK", while also insisting rule of law be upheld.[129]
  •  United States: On 13 April, the embassy in Madrid stated that the U.S. sees the question of Catalan independence as an internal issue of Spain.[130] On 26 September, President Donald Trump, during his meeting with Mariano Rajoy, said that "Spain is a great country and it should remain united",[131] but expressed his doubts on whether a referendum will be held, stating that "I think that nobody knows if they are gonna have a vote. The President would say they are not going to have a vote. But I think that the people would be very much opposed to that."[131] Earlier that month, the State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert insisted in that the referendum is an internal affair of Spain and that the US "will work with whatever government or entity that comes out of it".[132]

International organisations and institutions[edit]

On 14 September, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that the EU "would follow and respect the rulings of the Spanish constitutional court and parliament".[134] Further, while the EU would respect the choice if a "yes" for Catalan independence were to come to pass, Juncker stated that Catalonia could not become an EU member the day after the vote.[135]
On 2 October, the European Commission released a statement on its webpage declaring the referendum illegal.[136]
  •  Council of Europe: The Council of Europe, when consulted by Carles Puigdemont, said that any referendum must be carried out "in full compliance with the constitution".[137]
  •  United Nations: The UN has refused to participate in the monitoring of the referendum.[138]

    On 23 September, the UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas, issued a media statement[139] where he advocates for the right of self-determination of Catalan people, reminding "[t]he Spanish Constitution itself stipulates in its articles 10 and 96 the supremacy of international law and in particular international human rights law over of domestic law" and that "self-determination is not limited to the decolonisation context".

Other political parties, groups and sub-national governments[edit]

  •  United Kingdom:
    • Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour Party, issued a statement condemning the violence in Catalonia and called on the British government to appeal to the Spanish government to end its crackdown in Catalonia.[140] Later, previous Labour leader Ed Milliband issued a similar statement, describing scenes as "appalling" and saying "the U.K. government cannot just stay silent".[141]
    • Northern Ireland: Michelle Gildernew, the Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh South Tyrone, called for international recognition of the referendum.[142]
    •  Scotland: On 16 September, Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs, said: "The decision over Catalonia's future direction is a matter for the people who live there, and the Catalan and Spanish Governments are perfectly entitled to take positions for and against independence. However, all peoples have the right to self-determination and to choose the form of government best suited to their needs, a principle which is enshrined in the UN Charter."[143]
    •  Wales: First Minister Carwyn Jones of Welsh Labour talked of "violence replacing democracy and dialogue",[144] while leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood criticised this position describing violence as "not on both sides".[145]
  •  Ireland: Mick Barry TD of Solidarity attended the referendum as an international observer, the party condemned the violence and showed support for the declaration of a general strike.[146][147]
    •  Dublin: On 22 September, in a letter to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál MacDonncha, regretted the legal prosecution of over 700 Catalan Mayors and urged them "to find a political solution to Catalonia’s legitimate claims and ask you to stop threats on my fellow Mayors".[148]
  •  Denmark: A group of 17 Danish MPs from seven parties criticised the growing tensions in the weeks before the referendum and called on the Spanish government to play a constructive role and encourage political dialogue.[149]
  • European Union European Union Parliament: Gregor Gysi, the chairman of the Party of the European Left, condemned the arrests by the Guardia Civil in the run-up to the referendum and called for a political solution to the problem.[150]
  •  Italy:
    • The Lega Nord leader Matteo Salvini expressed his solidarity to the Catalan people after the arrests of 14 Catalan government officials;[151] however, he also kept distance from the Catalan referendum calling it "a stretch" against the Spanish law.[152][153]
    •  Sardinia: After the actions of the Spanish government against the referendum, the region of Sardinia expressed its support and solidarity to the Catalan community by means of unanimous resolution of the regional council, and offered to the government of Catalonia to print ballots for the referendum and to guard them, rejecting the negative attitude of the Spanish government towards political dialogue.[154][155][156][157] On 25 October, the Sardinian council issued a new resolution condemning the use of violence adopted by the Civil Guard and expressing the wish that Catalans may pursue a pacific path towards the right to choose any political option, including self-determination.[158]
  •  Flanders: On 20 September, the Minister-President of the Flemish Region Geert Bourgeois said: "I regret the recent escalation with a display of power from both the police and court in the Catalan capital and I urgently call upon the Spanish government to go into dialogue with the Catalan government, the legitimate representative of the Catalan people. If this is currently impossible, there must be international mediation."[159]
  •   Switzerland: On 27 September, a group of MPs from all parties of the Council of States sent a letter to the Spanish government supporting the Catalan referendum, stating that "without taking a decision on the choice to be made, we believe that the right of the Catalan people to determine their future must be respected", and condemning the arrests of people and seizure of voting material as "unworthy of a modern and democratic state".[160]
  •  Rojava: On 29 September, TEV-DEM declared their support for the referendum.[161]
  •  Slovenia: Speaker of the National Assembly Milan Brglez stated that the "Catalans have the right to self-determination".[162]

Opinion polls[edit]

On 1 October 2017 referendum[edit]

Queues of voters on polling places on referendum
A person voting in Guinardó, Barcelona

Pollsters generally started using the proposed referendum question ("Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a republic?") after it was revealed in early June 2017.[163]

The Centre for Opinion Studies (Centre d'Estudis d'Opinió, CEO) polled respondents on their intentions rather than asking them the actual referendum question. In its March 2017 poll, aside from asking respondents whether they would want Catalonia to become an independent state, it asked their intents in the event of a referendum on the independence of Catalonia being called and organised by the Government of Catalonia without agreement from the Spanish Government. In a July 2017 poll a similar question was proposed, with the difference that it asked about the actual 1 October referendum.

Total[edit]

Polling firm/Commissioner Fieldwork date Sample size Yes No Other/
Abst.
Question? Lead
Opinòmetre/Ara[p 1] 16 September 2017 1,000 44.1 38.1 3.9 13.9 6.0
NC Report/La Razón[p 2][p 3] 1–8 Aug 2017 800 41.5 48.6 9.9 7.1
Opinòmetre/Ara[p 4] 17–20 Jul 2017 1,000 41.9 37.8 4.2 16.1 4.1
GESOP/CEO[p 5][p 6] 26 Jun–11 Jul 2017 1,500 39.0 23.5 23.0 14.5 15.5
NC Report/La Razón[p 7][p 8] 29 Jun–1 Jul 2017 800 44.0 48.6 7.4 4.6
GAD3/La Vanguardia[p 9] 23–29 Jun 2017 ? 42.5 37.6 10.2 9.7 4.9
DYM/El Confidencial[p 10] 22–28 Jun 2017 531 47.0 44.4 8.6 2.6
Opinòmetre/Ara[p 11] 12–15 Jun 2017 1,000 42.3 38.9 6.0 12.8 3.4
GESOP/CEO[p 12] 6–21 Mar 2017 1,500 43.3 22.2 28.6 5.9 21.1

Certain to vote[edit]

(Note: voters who were not willing to vote were primarily those opposed to independence and/or a referendum being held, so support for independence among those who were certain to vote was expected to be high.)[32]

Polling firm/Commissioner Fieldwork date Sample size Turnout Yes No Question? Lead
The National[p 13] 30 September 2017 3,300 62 83.0 16.0 2.0 67.0
Opinòmetre/Ara[p 1] 16 September 2017 1,000 51.0 69.9 14.3 15.8 55.6
Celeste-Tel/eldiario.es[p 14] 12–15 Sep 2017 800 59.9 59.5 30.7 9.8 28.8
Sociométrica/El Español[p 15] 28 Aug–1 Sep 2017 700 50 72.0 28.0 44.0
Opinòmetre/Ara[p 4] 17–20 Jul 2017 1,000 54.9 66.5 18.5 15.0 48.0
GESOP/CEO[p 5] 26 Jun–11 Jul 2017 1,500 67.5 57.8 34.8 7.4 23.0
DYM/El Confidencial[p 10] 22–28 Jun 2017 531 70.1 65.4 28.4 6.2 37.0
Opinòmetre/Ara[p 11] 12–15 Jun 2017 1,000 54.9 67.0 19.0 14.0 48.0

On the independence issue[edit]

Polling firm/Commissioner Fieldwork date Sample size Yes No Other/
Abst.
Question? Lead Question
Sociométrica/El Español[p 16] 28 Aug–1 Sep 2017 700 50.1 45.7 4.2 4.4 [I]
GESOP/CEO[p 5] 26 Jun–11 Jul 2017 1,500 41.1 49.4 9.5 8.3 [II]
GAD3/La Vanguardia[p 17] 7–12 Apr 2017 601 41.9 39.7 9.1 9.3 2.2 [III]
GESOP/CEO[p 12] 6–21 Mar 2017 1,500 44.3 48.5 7.2 4.2 [II]
GAD3/La Vanguardia[p 18] 2–5 Jan 2017 601 42.3 41.9 5.9 9.9 0.4 [III]
NC Report/La Razón[p 19][p 20] 16–23 Dec 2016 1,000 44.8 47.2 8.0 2.4 [IV]
DYM/CEO[p 21] 12–17 Dec 2016 1,047 45.3 46.8 7.8 1.5 [II]
GESOP/El Periódico[p 22] 12–14 Dec 2016 800 48.9 40.3 2.4 8.5 8.6 [V]
Opinòmetre/CEO[p 23] 17 Oct–3 Nov 2016 1,500 44.9 45.1 9.9 0.2 [II]
GESOP/ICPS[p 24] 26 Sep–17 Oct 2016 1,200 46.6 33.8 15.0 4.7 10.2 [VI]
NC Report/La Razón[p 25] 2–6 Aug 2016 1,255 41.3 43.2 15.5 1.9 [VII]
Opinòmetre/CEO[p 26] 28 Jun–13 Jul 2016 1,500 47.7 42.4 10.0 5.3 [II]
GAD3/La Vanguardia[p 27] 13–16 Jun 2016 800 48.4 35.3 7.7 8.6 13.1 [III]
Opinòmetre/CEO[p 28] 22 Feb–8 Mar 2016 1,500 45.3 45.5 9.2 0.2 [II]
NC Report/La Razón[p 29][p 30] 28–31 Dec 2015 1,255 44.1 49.7 6.2 5.6 [VIII]
DYM/El Confidencial[p 31] 30 Nov–3 Dec 2015 504 37.0 54.0 9.0 17.0 [IX]
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 32] 20–27 Nov 2015 1,000 45.5 48.7 5.2 3.2 [X]
GESOP/CEO[p 33] 16–23 Nov 2015 1,050 46.6 48.2 5.2 1.6 [II]
Opinòmetre/CEO[p 34] 5–27 Oct 2015 2,000 46.7 47.8 5.6 1.1 [II]
2015 Catalan regional election
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 35] 14–17 Sep 2015 1,000 45.2 45.9 8.9 0.7 [X]
Metroscopia/El País[p 36] 14–16 Sep 2015 2,000 45.0 46.0 9.0 1.0 [XI]
DYM/El Confidencial[p 37] 14–16 Sep 2015 1,157 50.0 42.0 8.0 8.0 [IX]
Sigma Dos/El Mundo[p 38][p 39] 31 Aug–3 Sep 2015 1,400 44.4 46.2 9.4 1.8 [XII]
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 40] 6–9 Jul 2015 1,000 44.5 48.4 7.1 3.9 [XIII]
Opinòmetre/CEO[p 41] 2–24 Jun 2015 2,000 42.9 50.0 7.1 7.1 [II]
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 42] 27–29 Apr 2015 1,000 43.7 47.9 8.3 4.2 [XIII]
Opinòmetre/CEO[p 43] 9 Feb–2 Mar 2015 2,000 44.1 48.0 7.8 3.9 [II]
DYM/CEO[p 44] 9–13 Dec 2014 1,100 44.5 45.3 10.3 0.8 [II]
GESOP/ICPS[p 45] 12 Nov–6 Dec 2014 1,200 49.9 27.4 18.8 4.1 22.5 [VI]
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 46] 1–4 Dec 2014 1,000 47.4 42.9 9.7 4.5 [XIII]
Sigma Dos/El Mundo[p 47] 17–20 Nov 2014 1,000 35.7 44.7 9.6 10.0 9.0 [II]
2014 Catalan self-determination referendum
GESOP/8tv[p 48] 30 October 2014 1,600 46.2 38.0 15.8 8.2 [II]
Opinòmetre/CEO[p 49] 29 Sep–23 Oct 2014 2,000 49.4 32.3 8.4 10.0 17.1 [II]
Sigma Dos/El Mundo[p 50] 26–29 Aug 2014 ? 34.0 39.5 19.2 5.5 [II]
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 51] 30 Apr–8 May 2014 577 43.4 43.5 13.4 0.1 [II]
Opinòmetre/CEO[p 52] 24 Mar–15 Apr 2014 2,000 47.2 27.9 12.4 12.6 19.3 [II]
GESOP/El Periódico[p 53] 26–28 Feb 2014 800 46.1 36.3 17.6 9.8 [II]
GESOP/El Periódico[p 54] 12–13 Dec 2013 800 44.1 36.2 19.7 7.9 [II]
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 55] 16–19 Nov 2013 1,000 44.9 45.0 10.1 0.1 [II]
GESOP/CEO[p 56] 4–14 Nov 2013 2,000 54.7 22.1 17.0 6.3 32.6 [VI]
GESOP/El Periódico[p 57] 16–18 Oct 2013 800 53.3 41.5 5.3 11.8 [XIV]
GESOP/ICPS[p 58] 25 Sep–10 Oct 2013 800 48.6 25.2 21.9 4.3 23.4 [VI]
GESOP/CEO[p 59] 31 May–13 Jun 2013 2,000 55.6 23.4 15.9 5.1 32.2 [VI]
GESOP/El Periódico[p 60] 28–31 May 2013 800 57.8 36.0 6.3 21.8 [XIV]
GESOP/CEO[p 61] 4–14 Feb 2013 2,000 54.7 20.7 18.1 6.4 34.0 [VI]
GESOP/El Periódico[p 62] 14–16 Jan 2013 800 56.9 35.0 8.2 21.9 [XIV]
GESOP/ICPS[p 63] 27 Nov–20 Dec 2012 1,200 49.2 29.2 15.1 6.5 20.0 [VI]
2012 Catalan regional election
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 64] 12–16 Nov 2012 1,000 47.5 40.2 10.1 7.3 [XV]
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 65] 6–9 Nov 2012 1,000 47.9 39.9 10.2 8.0 [XV]
DYM/CEO[p 66] 22–30 Oct 2012 2,500 57.0 20.5 14.9 7.7 36.5 [VI]
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 67] 22–26 Oct 2012 1,000 52.8 35.4 9.7 17.4 [XV]
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 68] 8–11 Oct 2012 1,000 54.3 33.1 10.1 21.2 [XV]
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 69] 21–27 Sep 2012 1,200 54.8 33.5 10.2 21.3 [XV]
DYM/CEO[p 70] 4–18 Jun 2012 2,500 51.1 21.1 22.1 5.8 30.0 [VI]
DYM/CEO[p 71] 6–21 Feb 2012 2,500 44.6 24.7 25.2 5.5 19.9 [VI]
GESOP/ICPS[p 72] 19 Sep–27 Oct 2011 2,000 43.7 25.1 23.2 8.0 18.6 [VI]
GESOP/CEO[p 73] 29 Sep–13 Oct 2011 2,500 45.4 24.7 24.4 5.6 20.7 [VI]
GESOP/CEO[p 74] 2–17 Jun 2011 2,500 42.9 28.2 23.8 5.2 14.7 [VI]
Noxa/La Vanguardia[p 75] 1–2 Sep 2010 800 40.0 45.0 10.0 5.0 5.0 [XVI]
  1. ^ "Would you prefer your community being an independent state?"
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state?"
  3. ^ a b c "If a legal referendum on the independence of Catalonia was held, what do you think your vote would be?"
  4. ^ "What would you vote in a referendum on the independence of Catalonia?"
  5. ^ "If you went out to vote, would you vote Yes or No to independence?"
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "If tomorrow a referendum on the independence of Catalonia was held, what would you do?"
  7. ^ "Do you declare yourself independentist?"
  8. ^ "Do you favour Catalonia's independence?"
  9. ^ a b "Do you think Catalonia should separate from Spain and become an independent state?"
  10. ^ a b "If a legal referendum was held, do you think you would vote For or Against Catalonia becoming an independent state?"
  11. ^ "If a negotiated and fully legal referendum on the independence of Catalonia was held, what would be your likeliest vote?"
  12. ^ "Do you support Catalonia going independent?"
  13. ^ a b c "If a referendum on the independence of Catalonia was held, what do you think your vote would be?"
  14. ^ a b c "Would you agree on Catalonia separating itself from Spain and becoming a new state within the EU?"
  15. ^ a b c d e "If a referendum on the independence of Catalonia was held, what would you vote?"
  16. ^ "If tomorrow a referendum on the independence of Catalonia was held, what would you vote?"

On whether a referendum should be held[edit]

Polling firm/Commissioner Fieldwork date Sample size Yes No Question? Notes
Metroscopia/El País[p 76] 18–21 Sep 2017 2,200 82 16 2 On a legal referendum as the best solution
GESOP/El Periódico[p 77] 19–22 Feb 2017 ? 71.9 26.1 2.0 On the State allowing a referendum
GAD3/La Vanguardia[p 18] 13–16 Jun 2016 800 76.6 19.7 3.6
NC Report/La Razón[p 19][p 20] 16–23 Dec 2016 1,000 51.1 40.7 8.2 On holding a 9N-style referendum
GESOP/El Periódico[p 22] 12–14 Dec 2016 800 84.6 13.8 1.6
49.6 48.8 1.6 On holding a not legal referendum
NC Report/La Razón[p 25] 2–6 Aug 2016 1,255 52.0 35.1 12.9 On agreeing a referendum with the State
GAD3/La Vanguardia[p 27] 13–16 Jun 2016 800 75.7 20.6 3.7
DYM/El Confidencial[p 31] 30 Nov–3 Dec 2015 504 69.0 26.0 5.0 On the need of holding a referendum
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 32] 20–27 Nov 2015 1,000 78.8 19.9 1.3
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 35] 14–17 Sep 2015 1,000 79.2 18.6 2.2
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 40] 6–9 Jul 2015 1,000 79.8 19.4 0.8
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 42] 27–29 Apr 2015 1,000 79.1 19.4 1.5
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 46] 1–4 Dec 2014 1,000 83.9 14.5 1.6
NC Report/La Razón[p 78] 13–15 Nov 2014 ? 54.3 39.9 5.8 On holding an agreed referendum
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 51] 30 Apr–8 May 2014 577 74.0 24.6 1.4
GESOP/El Periódico[p 54] 12–13 Dec 2013 800 73.6 20.0 6.4 On the State authorising the 9N referendum
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 55] 16–19 Nov 2013 1,000 73.5 23.6 2.9
GESOP/El Periódico[p 60] 28–31 May 2013 800 75.1 20.8 4.2 On the Government of Spain authorising a referendum
69.6 25.8 2.3 On holding a referendum
GESOP/El Periódico[p 62] 14–16 Jan 2013 800 62.9 30.5 6.6 On holding a referendum even with the State's opposition
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 64] 12–16 Nov 2012 1,000 73.4 24.1 2.5
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 65] 6–9 Nov 2012 1,000 73.6 24.0 2.4
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 67] 22–26 Oct 2012 1,000 81.5 17.5 1.0
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 68] 8–11 Oct 2012 1,000 81.7 17.6 0.7
Feedback/La Vanguardia[p 69] 21–27 Sep 2012 1,200 83.9 14.9 1.2

Results[edit]

Overall[edit]

Choice Votes  %
Referendum passed Yes 2,044,038 92.01
No 177,547 7.99
Valid votes 2,221,585 97.17
Invalid or blank votes 64,632 2.83
Total votes 2,286,217 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 5,313,564 43.03
Source: Government of Catalonia.[1]

The Catalan government estimated that polling stations representing up to 770,000 potential voters—14.5% of all registered voters—were closed down by police in raids, with any votes cast in those stations either seized, lost or inaccessible and therefore not counted.[26][27][28][164] Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turull argued that turnout would have been higher were it not for "Spanish police suppression".[30] Catalan government officials argued that calculation by experts showed that without police pressure and closures, turnout could have reached up to 55%.[31] This was reported as not considering the fact that, as a result of changes implemented by the Catalan government earlier in the day which saw the introduction of a "universal census", any Catalan elector going out to vote could do so in any one of the still functioning polling stations.[29] Notorious examples of this included President Puigdemont himself—who voted in Cornella del Terri instead of Sant Julià de Ramis where he was registered to vote, foiling a police operation to track him down along the way[165][166]—or Parliament of Catalonia Speaker Carme Forcadell.[167]

Results by vegueries[edit]

Vegueria Yes No
Votes  % Votes  %
Alt Pirineu i Aran 26,674 95.18 1,350 4.82
Barcelona 1,239,232 89.93 138,759 10.07
Camp de Tarragona 142,386 94.12 8,897 5.88
Catalunya Central 205,285 95.96 8,638 4.04
Girona 244,758 96.02 10,140 3.98
Lleida 118,799 94.98 6,274 5.02
Terres de l'Ebre 62,652 94.80 3,434 5.20
Catalans abroad 4,252 98.72 55 1.28
Total 2,044,038 92.01 177,547 7.99

Irregularities[edit]

Due in part to the deactivation and repeated blocking by the police of the computer programs used to implement universal census and result reporting,[168] an important number of irregularities were detected during the celebration of the referendum. Among them, people recorded voting more than once, votes made by non-catalan people not included in the census, or an image of a children casting a vote in the ballot box.[14][15][169] Opaque ballot boxes were used,[17] a footage raised doubts about whether unsealed ballot boxes could have been transported containing ballots inside,[170] and there were ballot boxes placed in the street[171] where any person could introduce their votes without any census control.[172] There was no electoral board nor counting system.[17] A blog was activated to vote online that allowed to vote without contrasting the identity in a census and as many times as desired.[17][173] It was deactivated by the Civil Guard after several minutes.[173]

The Spanish Government denounced that the rules of the referendum got changed 45 minutes before the opening.[174] The new rules included the universal census according to which any citizen could vote in any voting center even if it was not the one originally assigned. They also accepted the use of non-official ballots printed at home and made optional the requirement of using envelopes.[17][175]

Controversy over the results[edit]

The publication of the results generated controversy both for the lack of basic electoral warranties,[176] as for the lack of coherence between the results that were published after 95% of the votes had been tallied and the official results published five days later.[177][178]

One analyst said that the large pro-independence vote (90% by official estimates) could actually be a sign that many people did not vote at all, and that the referendum lacked the conditions for fairness.[179]

The Civil Guard delivered a report to the Spanish High Court with recordings of conversations that allegedly demonstrate that "the results of the referendum were decided in the days leading up to its holding".[180][181]

Aftermath[edit]

2017 Catalan general strike against police brutality

On 3 October 2017, Carles Puigdemont said that his government intends to act on the result of the referendum "at the end of this week or the beginning of next" and declare independence from Spain. Puigdemont would go before the Catalan Parliament to address them on Monday 9 October 2017, pending the agreement of other political parties.[182]

On 4 October 2017, Mireia Boya, a lawmaker of the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), announced that a declaration of independence would likely come after the parliamentary session on 9 October.[183]

The King of Spain, Felipe VI, called the Catalan referendum "illegal" and appealed to the union [of Spain], calling the situation "extremely serious."[184]

According to Swiss national radio, the Foreign Ministry of Switzerland has offered to mediate between the two sides in the crisis.[185] However, on 16 October 2017 the Foreign Ministry of Switzerland released a press note declaring that no formal offer was made, also stating that the independent aspirations in Catalonia are an internal affair of Spain and should be resolved within its constitutional order. It also made clear that Switzerland fully respects Spanish Sovereignty and that in any case any facilitation of the process could only take place in case that both sides requested it.[186]

Violence and injuries[edit]

Spanish National Police in riot gear pushed by a crowd; a protester is hit in the eye by a rubber ball (1 October 2017, Barcelona)
The man injured in the eye by a rubber ball.
Police officers hitting with batons protesters organised in passive resistance in Barcelona during the referendum.
Albert Rivera, Xavier García Albiol and other opponents of Catalonia's independence from Spain, 8 October 2017

On the day of the poll, the Mossos d'Esquadra did not execute the direct order issued by the High Court of Justice of Catalonia to close the voting centers before they opened and confiscate voting materials. After this unexpected development,[187] the Spanish police and Guardia Civil mounted operations to execute the order. The security forces met resistance from citizens who obstructed their access to the voting tables; in Sant Julia de Ramis, where Puigdemont was expected to vote,[188] they were joined by Corps of Firefighters of Catalonia members who formed a "human shield" separating the police from civilians to help obstruct their access to the polling station.[189][190] The police used force to try to reach the voting tables,[191] in some cases using batons against firefighters and civilians, and dragged some of them away.[192][190] The police made multiple charges.[193] In some other incidents the security forces were surrounded and driven out by the crowds. According to the Ministry of the Interior, rubber balls were only used against demonstrators in one of those incidents in the Barcelona's Eixample district.[194] There were incidents in polling stations in Barcelona, Girona and elsewhere; the police forced entry to the premises, ejected the occupants, and seized ballot boxes, some of them containing votes.[193]

The Spanish government endorsed the police actions ordered by the regional high court.[195] Carles Puigdemont accused Spanish authorities of "unjustified, disproportionate and irresponsible violence" and showing a "dreadful external image of Spain"[189] while Amnesty International criticized what it called "excessive and unnecessary use of force" by the National Police and the Civil Guard.[196] According to El País, after the first reports of violence, the government canceled the order given to the security forces and they pulled out early from the polling centers.[191]

Various images and reports used to magnify the claims of police violence were circulated but were later found to be inaccurate or photoshopped,[197][198][199] and reports argued later that such posts, as well as conspiracy theories, had been amplified through the same network of social network profiles that had earlier promoted alt-right and pro-Putin views during earlier elections in Western countries.[200] A Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) councillor accused the police deliberately breaking her fingers one by one and of sexual abuse during a polling station evacuation, but later investigation disproved these statements.[201][202][199] The Spanish Ministry of the Interior instructed the Spanish Attorney General to investigate whether the accusations of police sexual abuse against protesters made by Mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau, who had mentioned the councilor's statements, could be considered a legal offense of slander against Spanish Law enforcement organisations.[203]

A judge from Barcelona is currently investigating the accusations of police violence made by the Generalitat against the national police and the civil guard. According to the judge there were 218 persons injured on that day, 20 of which were agents.[40][41] According to various sources previously reported figures for civilians and police may have been exaggerated.[39] According to the Generalitat de Catalunya, 844 people requested the services of the Catalan emergency health service, this number includes people with irritation by gas and anxiety attacks. Of those injured, most were minor, but four people were hospitalised by the emergency health service and of those two were in serious condition, one due to impact from a rubber ball in the protests, the other for unrelated causes.[193] The man injured by a rubber ball lost the vision of an eye and he sued 3 members of the Spanish National Police.[204] According to the Ministry of the Interior 431 Guardia Civil agents were injured, 39 of them required immediate medical treatment and the remaining 392 had injuries by bruises, scrapes, kicks and bites.[205][206]

According to the final report by the Catalan Health Service (CatSalut) of the Generalitat, there were 1,066 people attended by the Catalan hospitals in connection with the Catalan Referendum: 966 on 1 October 2017 and 75 during 2–4 October. According to the severity, the reports indicates that 886 (=823+63) were categorised as mild, 173 (=163+10) as moderate and 7 (=5+2) as severe. On 20 October 2017, the last injured left the hospital. Regarding the age distribution: 10,4% of them were elderly people (>65 years old) and 23 of them were over 79 years old. Also, 2.1% were underage, including 2 children under 11 years old. This figures include 12 police officers: 9 Policía Nacional, 2 Guardia Civil and 1 Mossos d'Esquadra.[207] [208] [209] The Catalan Health Officer is going to sue the Partido Popular general coordinator, Mr Fernando Martínez-Maillo, for his qualification as a "great farce" of the total number of injured.[210]

Economic effects[edit]

As of August 2017 the spread between Spanish 10-year government debt and German bonds was close to its narrowest in seven years; however, since the start of July the yield on the Catalan regional government's bonds had jumped by about 50 basis points,[211] signaling unease among investors in regards to the referendum issue.

Stratfor suggested financial market disruption is due to the political upheaval. Predrag Dukic, senior equity sales trader at CM Capital Markets Bolsa, wrote: "The independence movement seeks to paralyze the region with strikes, disobedience, etc., a nightmare scenario for what until yesterday seemed a strong Spanish economic recovery." Markus Schomer, chief global economist at PineBridge Investments, suggested that the uncertainty both in and outside of Spain has made it hard to price the scenarios into final markets so far. Further he commented a strong approval could result in a euro −0.0255% sell off, just as in the aftermath of the German federal election the previous week. "I don’t think there is an immediate change coming from that referendum. It'll take quite a bit longer to assess where this is going and what this will mean, how the EU will react, how the Spanish government will react. So I don't think you'll see people adjusting their portfolios on Monday, but you could get the classic knee-jerk, risk-off reaction."[212]

Political effect[edit]

Pro-independence supporters during a rally in Barcelona, 10 October 2017
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont gives a speech at the Catalan Parliament in Barcelona on 10 October 2017
Protest in Barcelona over the imprisonment of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, 21 October 2017

On 10 October in a speach in front of the Catalan parliament Puigdemont stated that he considered the referendum results to be valid and in consequence used the following wording: “I assume the mandate of the people for Catalonia to become an independent state in the shape of a republic”, before adding that he would “ask Parliament to suspend the effects of the declaration of independence. In response the Central government made a formal request for him to answer before the Monday 16 October 2017 if he declared independence asking specifically for yes or no answer clarifying that any answer different than a "no" would be interpreted as a "yes".[213] Along with the formal request there was also an offer from the central government negotiated with the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party to evaluate the situation of Catalonia within Spain and to study possible reforms, if needed, to the Spanish Constitution.[214] On 16 October 2017 Puigdemont gave a response that did not address the issue of whether or not there had been a declaration of independence.[215][216] this triggered a second deadline of 10 am on Thursday 19 October for them to backtrack before direct rule was imposed.[217][218] The Spanish government subsequently offered to abort the suspension of self-rule if the Catalan government called for regional elections.[219] The response from Puigdemont to the second deadline was again not clear. Since he refused to abandon his independence push, on 21 October the Spanish government initiated the implementation of article 155 of the Spanish constitution.[220]

On 27 October 2017, the Parliament of Catalonia unilaterally declared independence from Spain. The proposal presented by the pro-independence political parties Junts pel Sí and Popular Unity Candidacy was approved with 70 votes in favor 10 against and 2 blank votes.[221][222] 55 MPs from the opposition refused to be present during the voting after the legal services of the Catalan Parliament advised that the voting could not take place as the law in which it was based had been suspended by the Constitutional Court.[223] Within hours, the Spanish Senate approved actions proposed by the Spanish government to invoke Article 155 and assume direct control over some of Catalonia's autonomous powers.[224] The measure was passed with 214 votes in favour, 47 against and 1 abstention. The measure is intended to be temporary; its claimed objective being to "re-establish the rule of law" and restore autonomy after new elections.[225][226] The first measures taken by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy after the approval by the senate was to fire the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and his cabinet, dissolving the Parliament of Catalonia and scheduling fresh Catalan elections on 21 December 2017.[227]

Press coverage and social media[edit]

Different sources describe aspects of the events differently according to their political stance. Notable examples include the coverage of Spanish TV channel TVE (Televisión Española) and Catalan channel TV3. TV3 covered the referendum and the police violence regularly while TVE mainly emphasised the Spanish government's position on its legality.[228] TVE media coverage was criticised by Televisión Española information council, calling for the resignation of the entire direction.[229] TV3 has been criticized both within and outside Catalonia as a mouthpiece for the independence movement.[230]

Various media reported on fake images of police violence against civilians that were posted in social networks.[231] They included images of people injured in other events, including footage from strikes and anti-austerity protests 4-5 years prior, Turkish police charges and protests by miners.[197][198][199] The news sites Okdiario and Periodista Digital were also accused of falsely trying to discredit some of those involved in police violence episodes.[232][233]

Some non-Spanish media has criticized the Mariano Rajoy's government, police violence against civilians or Spain's media coverage, including The Guardian,[234] The Independent,[235] Telesur,[236] Al-Jazeera,[237] The Daily Telegraph,[238] and The New York Times.[239]

The Spanish newspaper El País argued in a that "the network of fake-news producers that Russia has employed to weaken the United States and the European Union is now operating at full speed on Catalonia",[240] involving a network of Russian media outlets and social network bots which, according to the argument, aimed to influence local and global discussion of events. Later investigations by Medium-DFRL found support for some but not all of the arguments made by Spanish outlets.[241] It is argued that the goal wasn't specifically to support Catalan independence but to "foment divisions to gradually undermine Europe’s democracy and institutions"[242] and at discrediting Spanish legal and political authorities,[243] while Russian authorities have denied that Russian actors had any involvement.[243]

See also[edit]

Opinion poll sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Participació del 60% i més avantatge del sí l'1-O". Ara (in Catalan). 16 September 2017. 
  2. ^ "La mayoría de los catalanes cree que el referéndum no se celebrará". La Razón (in Spanish). 16 August 2017. 
  3. ^ "Encuesta NC Report". La Razón (in Spanish). 16 August 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "La pressió de l'Estat no fa perdre suports a l'1-O ni a la independència". Ara (in Catalan). 24 July 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c "Baròmetre d'Opinió Política. 2a onada 2017" (PDF). CEO (in Catalan). 21 July 2017. 
  6. ^ "Baròmetre d'Opinió Política. 2a onada 2017 - REO 857" [Political Opinion Barometer. 2nd wave 2017 - REO 857]. CEO (in Catalan, Spanish, and English). 21 July 2017. 
  7. ^ "Referéndum: La mayoría dice no a la «república catalana»". La Razón (in Spanish). 3 July 2017. 
  8. ^ "Encuesta NC Report". La Razón (in Spanish). 3 July 2017. 
  9. ^ "El 54% de los catalanes está dispuesto a participar en una consulta unilateral". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 2 July 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "El 65,4% de los catalanes que han decidido ir a las urnas el 1-O votará sí a la independencia". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 3 July 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "Primera encuesta sobre el referéndum catalán: participación del 64% y ventaja para el 'sí'". Ara (in Spanish). 18 June 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "Baròmetre d'Opinió Política. 1a onada 2017" (PDF). CEO (in Catalan). 30 March 2017. 
  13. ^ "Huge upsurge in support for independence is revealed in world exclusive final Catalan poll". The National. 3 September 2017. 
  14. ^ "El 60% de los catalanes quiere participar en el referéndum del 1-O". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 17 September 2017. 
  15. ^ "El 'sí' ganará con un 72% y un 50% de participación si se celebra el referéndum". El Español (in Spanish). 5 September 2017. 
  16. ^ "El 50,1% de los catalanes está a favor de la independencia, el 45,7% en contra". El Español (in Spanish). 3 September 2017. 
  17. ^ "El referéndum unilateral pierde apoyos frente a la consulta acordada". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 17 April 2017. 
  18. ^ a b "La mayoría quiere un referéndum pactado y descarta la unilateralidad". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 9 January 2017. 
  19. ^ a b "El 82,2% aprueba la oferta de diálogo del Gobierno a la Generalitat". La Razón (in Spanish). 27 December 2016. 
  20. ^ a b "Apoyo a más financiación y mayor autogobierno" (PDF). La Razón (in Spanish). 27 December 2016. 
  21. ^ "Enquesta sobre context polític a Catalunya. 2016" (PDF). CEO (in Catalan). 29 December 2016. 
  22. ^ a b "El referéndum unilateral de independencia divide a los catalanes". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 17 December 2016. 
  23. ^ "Baròmetre d'Opinió Política 39. 3a onada 2016" (PDF). CEO (in Catalan). 18 November 2016. 
  24. ^ "Sondeig d'opinió Catalunya 2016" (PDF). ICPS (in Catalan). 17 October 2016. 
  25. ^ a b "La mitad de los catalanes cree que el Parlament se someterá al TC". La Razón (in Spanish). 12 August 2016. 
  26. ^ "Baròmetre d'Opinió Política 38. 2a onada 2016" (PDF). CEO (in Catalan). 22 July 2016. 
  27. ^ a b "La mayoría apuesta por mejorar el autogobierno y aparcar la separación". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 19 June 2016. 
  28. ^ "Baròmetre d'Opinió Política 37. 1a onada 2016" (PDF). CEO (in Catalan). 18 March 2016. 
  29. ^ "La gran mayoría de los catalanes pide no apoyar a Mas". La Razón (in Spanish). 3 January 2016. 
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]