The Catalan independence referendum of 2017, also known by the numeronym 1-O (for "1 October") in Spanish media, was an independence referendum held on 1 October 2017 in the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia, passed by the Parliament of Catalonia as the Law on the Referendum on Self-determination of Catalonia and called by the Generalitat de Catalunya. It was declared illegal 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. 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. Due to alleged irregularities during the voting process 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.
The referendum was approved by the Catalan parliament in a session on 6 September 2017 along with the Law of juridical transition and foundation of the Republic of Catalonia the following day 7 of September, which stated that independence would be binding with a simple majority, without requiring a minimum turnout. After being suspended, the law was finally declared void on 17 October, being also illegal according to the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia which requires a two third majority, 90 seats, in the Catalan parliament for any change to Catalonia's status.
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, although the "universal census" system introduced earlier in the day allowed electors to vote at any given polling station. Catalan government officials have argued that the turnout would have been higher were it not for Spanish and Catalan police suppression of the vote. On the other hand, many voters who did not support Catalan independence did not turn out, as the constitutional political parties asked citizens not to participate in what they considered an illegal referendum.
On the day of the referendum, the inaction of part of the autonomous police force of Catalonia, the Mossos d'Esquadra, allowed many polling stations to open. The Spanish National Police Corps and the Guardia Civil intervened and raided several polling stations after they opened. 893 civilians and 111 agents of the National Police and the Guardia Civil were reported to have been injured. According to various sources these previously reported figures may have been exaggerated. According to the judge from Barcelona who is currently investigating the accusations of police violence, there were 218 persons injured on that day in the city of Barcelona alone, 20 of whom were agents. According to the official final report by the Catalan Health Service (CatSalut) of the Generalitat 1066 civilians, 11 agents of the National Police and the Guardia Civil and 1 agent of the regional police, the Mossos d'Esquadra, were injured. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al, urged the Spanish government to prove all acts of violence that took place to prevent the referendum. The police action also got criticism from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch which defined it as an "excessive and unnecessary use of force". Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena stated Puigdemont ignored the repeated warnings he received about the escalation of violence if the referendum was held.
Mossos d'Esquadra are being investigated for disobedience, for allegedly not having complied with the orders of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia to prevent the referendum. Including Josep Lluís Trapero Álvarez, the Mossos d'Esquadra Major, who is being investigated for sedition by the Spanish National Court. Mossos d'Esquadra, deny those accusations and allege they obeyed the orders but applying the principle of proportionality, which is required by Spanish law in all police operations.
|Catalan independence referendum, 2017|
|Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?|
|Date||1 October 2017|
|Source: Government of Catalonia|
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.
On 24 January 2017, the Government of Catalonia held a privately organised conference 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.
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. It is still unclear who bought them. The Catalan government opened a bidding process to buy them but no offers were presented. Cristóbal Montoro, the Spanish Minister of the Treasury, assured that the ballot boxes were not paid for with public money and some media reported they were finally bought by an individual whose identity remains unknown.
Tendering by the Catalan government for materials such as ballot papers and envelopes for a putative regional election in the region were thought by some to be an attempt to covertly organise the referendum. 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.
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. 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.
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.
On 3 July 2017, President Puigdemont sacked his Minister for Enterprise, Jordi Baiget, who, in the face of the legal challenges, had just expressed doubts regarding the referendum taking place as envisioned by the Catalan government.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Among those that refused to support the referendum, however, there are large population centers, 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.
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 senior officials involved in the preparation of the referendum. 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. 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. 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!". The damages in the vehicles (3 Nissan Patrol) accounted for 135,632 €. 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".
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. Trapero stated that the mossos weren't warned with enough time and that the demonstration was peaceful. 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. On 20 September morning, Jordi Sànchez called for "peaceful resistance" to the police operation through social media. The investigating judge stated that the leaders did not call for "peaceful demonstration but to the protection of Catalan officials through 'massive citizens' mobilisations" 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". 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:
A video uploaded to Twitter shows Cuixart y Sànchez on top of one of the vandalized Guardia civil cars on that night saying "Above all... We ask that you dissolve this demonstration, as best as you can, very calmly, today, in a few minutes". According to the source this happened around 11:00 pm and would contradict one of the arguments used by the investigating judge. Amnesty International considered "pre-trial detention" excessive in this case and called for "immediate release" of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart.
In the following days, the Spanish Civil Guard and the Spanish National Police were 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. This would spark multiple protest demonstrations all across Catalonia, including cacerolazos during the night. Demonstrations "in defense of the right to decide of the Catalans" were held in several cities in Spain, though few people attended. On the other hand, demonstrations were held throughout Spain in which thousands of people protested against the referendum and the agents were acclaimed by the crowds in numerous cities of Spain when they left for Catalonia.
A conference named Referendum yes or yes that was going to be held in Vitoria-Gasteiz on 15 September was forbidden by the courts after a request from the Spanish government. The speakers, including the pro-independence deputy Anna Gabriel, disobeyed the ruling and tried to hold the conference anyway, but the room where it was taking place was evicted by the police five minutes after starting. One year later, the same court recognized there were no reasons to suspend the conference.
In the days previous to the referendum, the Spanish civil guard shut down more than 140 websites following a court order issued by the High Court of Justice of Catalonia, including the official one from the Catalan government and the main site of the Catalan civil organization ANC. That involved sending requests — and sometimes, directly sending the Guardia Civil — to major Spanish telecom operators offices, domain providers, the dotCat Foundation and Google, in this particular case to remove an app from Google Play that included information on polling stations. This situation was denounced by Internet-related organizations from around the world including Internet Society, APC, EFF, The Tor Project and Xnet.
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 after the Constitutional Court announced that otherwise they would be fined between €6,000 and €12,000 per day. The campaign was planned to last 15 days, spanning from 00:00 on 15 September 2017 to 24:00 on 29 September 2017.
According to the Catalan government, the following people were entitled to vote in the referendum:
The question of the referendum was asked "Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?".
|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?|
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.
Due to some alleged 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.
On 23 September, the UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas, issued a media statement 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".
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.
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.
|Polling firm/Commissioner||Fieldwork date||Sample size||Yes||No||Other/
|Opinòmetre/Ara[p 1]||16 Sep 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|
(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.)
|Polling firm/Commissioner||Fieldwork date||Sample size||Turnout||Yes||No||Lead|
|The National[p 13]||30 Sep 2017||3,300||62||83.0||16.0||2.0||67.0|
|Opinòmetre/Ara[p 1]||16 Sep 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|
|Polling firm/Commissioner||Fieldwork date||Sample size||Yes||No||Other/
|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 Oct 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]|
|Polling firm/Commissioner||Fieldwork date||Sample size||Yes||No||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|
|Invalid or blank votes||64,632||2.83|
|Registered voters and turnout||5,313,564||43.03|
|Source: Government of Catalonia.|
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. Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turull argued that turnout would have been higher were it not for Spanish police suppression. Catalan government officials argued that calculation by experts showed that without police pressure and closures, turnout could have reached up to 55%.
Earlier in the day, a universal census was introduced, so any Catalan elector going out to vote could do so at any one of the still functioning polling stations. 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—or Parliament of Catalonia Speaker Carme Forcadell.
|Alt Pirineu i Aran||26,674||95.18||1,350||4.82|
|Camp de Tarragona||142,386||94.12||8,897||5.88|
|Terres de l'Ebre||62,652||94.80||3,434||5.20|
Due in part to the deactivation and repeated blocking by the police of the computer programs used to implement universal census and result reporting, some alleged irregularities were reported by Spanish media 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 child casting a vote in the ballot box. Other media reported that it was not possible to vote twice, as the system did not validate the second attempt.
The Catalan government was not allowed to use the same ballot boxes used in other elections and referendums because they are owned by the Spanish government, so different ballot boxes were used, those were described as translucent by some media and opaque by some others in contrast to the transparent ballot boxes used in elections. Ballots and ballot boxes were transported together, which according to Spanish media raised doubts about whether those ballots were removed or not prior to the vote. Another controversial footage shows ballot boxes placed in the street, where any person could submit their vote without census control. According to a Catalan newspaper, a volunteer declared that it was "a symbolic vote" in Ramon i Cajal school, Barcelona, after Spanish police removed the ballot boxes at another nearby polling station.
There was no electoral board as it dissolved itself on 22 September to avoid being fined by the Constitutional Court and the counting system was blocked by the Guardia civil following orders from the Catalan High Court Justice. Guardia Civil also shut down a WordPress.com blog which alleged to be used as a voting system in the referendum, the Catalan government said they didn't know about its existence.
The Spanish Government denounced that the rules of the referendum got changed 45 minutes before the opening. 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.
The publication of the results generated controversy both for the lack of basic electoral warranties, 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.
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.
In 71 municipalities the number of "yes" votes tallied were more than the number of registered voters for those municipalities, which could be partly explained by the "universal census" system introduced earlier in the day allowing people to vote in a different poll station than the one they were assigned.
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".
In the elections of December 2017 called by Spanish Prime Minister, parties supporting independence got 47.5% of the votes, but due to the high level of participation that was 33,970 more votes than 'Yes' votes were cast during the referendum.
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.
According to Swiss national radio, the Foreign Ministry of Switzerland has offered to mediate between the two sides in the crisis. 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.
The Spanish police and Guardia Civil mounted operations to close the polling stations. 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, 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. The police used force to try to reach the voting tables, in some cases using batons against firefighters and civilians, and dragged some of them away. The police made multiple charges. In some other incidents the security forces were surrounded and driven out by the crowds. According to the Ministry of the Interior, rubber bullets (balls) were only used against demonstrators in one of those incidents in the Barcelona's Eixample district. There were incidents at 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.
The Spanish government endorsed the police actions ordered by the regional high court. Carles Puigdemont accused Spanish authorities of "unjustified, disproportionate and irresponsible violence" and showing a "dreadful external image of Spain" while Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch criticized what they called "excessive and unnecessary use of force" by the National Police and the Civil Guard. The Spanish Coordinator for Prevention against Torture defined the police action as a "repression laboratory". Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena stated Puigdemont ignored the repeated warnings he received about the escalation of violence if the referendum was held.
According to El País, after the first reports of violence, the government canceled the order given to the security forces, which pulled out early from the polling centers. Catalan Ombudsman Rafael Ribó, said there was evidence Angela Merkel asked Mariano Rajoy to stop police violence.
Various images and reports used to magnify the claims of police violence were circulated but were later found to be inaccurate or photoshopped, 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. A Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) councillor accused the police of deliberately breaking her fingers one by one and of sexual abuse during a polling station evacuation, but later investigation disproved these statements. A real picture of an elderly woman bleeding in the head as a consequence of a police charge was chosen as one of the "Bloomberg's 100 photos of the 2017". 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.
According to the judge, there were 218 persons injured on that day in the city of Barcelona alone, 20 of whom were agents. According to various sources previously reported figures for civilians and police may have been exaggerated. 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 eye in the protests, the other for unrelated causes.
There was a police charge near school Ramon Llull. When police officers tried to enter inside the polling station, voters responded with a sit-in protest to block their way in. Few minutes later more anti-riot police was deployed in the zone and they could find the way in after breaking the polling station door. Police officers confiscated the ballot boxes, some of them with votes inside. In their way out, voters blocked the passage of the police cars standing or sitting in front of the police vehicles. Some of them harassing and throwing fences, umbrellas and other objects against the agents, among them the man who was subsequently injured in the eye. The agents responded shooting rubber balls. The man injured by the rubber ball lost the vision in one eye and he sued 3 members of the Spanish National Police, adducing that one shot him directly to his face. One witness, the journalist who recorded the images, testified he saw that a police officer pointed and shot horizontally, directly against demonstrators at a distance not exceeding 15 meters, hitting and injuring the man in the eye, which can be seen in the footage; according to four witnesses, there was no unrest at the moment the police charge and shots took place. 13 police officers are being investigated for their actions in that polling station, even though the agent that shot the rubber bullet has not been identified yet.
Initially, the Ministry of the Interior said 431 agents were injured, 39 of them requiring immediate medical treatment and the remaining 392 having injuries from bruises, scrapes, kicks and/or bites. After a question from Basque senator Jon Iñarritu García some months later, the Spanish Ministry of the Interior recognised that the number was much lower and stated that the number of police officers injured was 111. In a document given to the judge investigating the police action during the day of the referendum in Barcelona, Spanish police reported around 40 injuries, including officers who acted in Girona and Sabadell, which include a "trauma on a finger", a "twisted foot" and a "nose scratch". The Police didn't provide medical reports for some of them and didn't explain how they were produced.
The Mossos d'Esquadra have been accused of failing to execute the direct order issued by the High Court of Justice of Catalonia and not closing the voting centers before the voting commenced, or not confiscating voting materials on the day of the poll.
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 person 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.   The Catalan Health Officer is planning to sue the Partido Popular general coordinator, Mr Fernando Martínez-Maillo, for his qualification as a "great farce" of the total number of injured persons.
On 19 February 2018, in the hearing for the injuries in the village of Castellgalí, a Guardia Civil policeman testified before the judge that he only found passive resistance, thus contradicting a Spanish police statement, which claimed that violence, kicks and spitting took place at that location.
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, 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."
On 10 October in a speech 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". 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. 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. this triggered a second deadline of 10 am on Thursday 19 October for them to backtrack before direct rule was imposed. The Spanish government subsequently offered to abort the suspension of self-rule if the Catalan government called for regional elections. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
On 16 January 2018, the Spanish Constitutional Court issued a temporary restraining order regarding the work of the Catalan Government commission that investigates the violation of fundamental rights in Catalonia.
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. TVE media coverage was criticised by Televisión Española information council, calling for the resignation of the entire direction. TV3 has been criticized both within and outside Catalonia as a mouthpiece for the independence movement.
Various media reported on fake images of police violence against civilians that were posted in social networks. 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. The news sites Okdiario and Periodista Digital were also accused of falsely trying to discredit some of those involved in police violence episodes.
Some non-Spanish media outlets have criticized the Mariano Rajoy's government, police violence against civilians or Spain's media coverage, including The Guardian, The Independent, Telesur, Al-Jazeera, The Daily Telegraph, and The New York Times.
The Spanish newspaper El País argued 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", 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 said it found support for some but not all of the arguments made by Spanish outlets. 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" and at discrediting Spanish legal and political authorities, while Russian authorities have denied that Russian actors had any involvement.
Several documentaries have been made about the day of the referendum, the most important ones being 1-O produced by Mediapro and El primer dia d'octubre produced by La Directa and released for free in YouTube. Many books about the topic were published as well, including Operació urnes ("Operation Ballot Boxes"), explaining how the ballot boxes were distributed around Catalonia, and Dies que duraran anys ("Days That Will Last for Years"), a photo book by Jordi Borràs. Those two being the first and the third top-sellers in the category of non-fiction in Catalan language during the Diada de Sant Jordi of 2018.
Several Catalan groups also composed songs specially dedicated to that day, including Agafant l'horitzó (Catching the horizon) by Txarango and Rojos y separatistas (Red and separatists) by Lágrimas de Sangre. Some international groups used images from the police violence during the day of the referendum in their concerts and music videos, including A Sound of Thunder and Steven Patrick Morrissey.
"La Misión debe concluir que el referéndum, tal y como se hizo, no puede cumplir con los estándares internacionales" The Mission must conclude that the referendum, as it was done, can not meet international standards
The Catalan government has not set a threshold for minimum turnout, arguing the vote will be binding regardless of the level of participation.
Turnout was about 42% of the 5.3 million eligible voters... Turull said more people would have voted had it not been for Spanish police suppression. Up to 770,000 votes were lost as a result of the crackdowns at police stations, the Catalan government estimated.
Els encarregats de donar els resultats des del Centre Internacional de Premsa, el vicepresident, Oriol Junqueras; el conseller de la Presidència, Jordi Turull, i el conseller d'Exteriors, Raül Romeva, han remarcat contínuament que, tot i que els 2.248.000 vots no suposen 'per se' el 50% del cens, els càlculs dels experts apunten que sense pressió policial i tancament de col·legis s'hauria pogut arribar al 55% de participació.
En relación con la pregunta de referencia, se informa que 111 miembros de las Fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad del Estado fueron contusionados
The Catalonian referendum is a matter for the Spanish govt & people. Imp that Spanish constitution respected & the rule of law upheld. (1/2)
Horrific scenes on the streets of #Catalonia today. When violence replaces democracy and dialogue there are no winners.
Marta Torrecillas envió un mensaje a una amiga en el que aseguraba que la Policía le había desalojado de un colegio electoral tirándola por las escaleras, arrojándole cosas y rompiéndole los dedos de la mano expresamente uno a uno. Sin embargo, en las imágenes del desalojo del citado colegio se ve cómo Torrecillas se tira al suelo cuando los agentes la invitan a abandonar el lugar y la agarran para que lo haga. Marta Torrecillas sent a message to a friend in which she claimed that the police had evicted her from an electoral college by throwing her down the stairs, throwing things at her and breaking her fingers expressly one by one. Nevertheless, in the images of the eviction of the mentioned school it is seen how Torrecillas thrown herself to the ground when the agents asked her to leave the place and they catch her so that she does it
"Quiero ser el último herido por pelota de goma en el Estado español".
With fake news apparently leaking from every media orifice, you'd have hoped for a little more diligence over those Catalan referendum demonstration figures and images. Over to the fact-checkers … (...) The reporting of what happened – including the detail of those 893 injured voters – hadn't been independently checked.
"It's not that Russia necessarily wants the independence of Catalonia. What it's principally seeking is to foment divisions to gradually undermine Europe's democracy and institutions," said Brett Schaffer, an analyst of the Alliance to Safeguard Democracy, a project supported by the German Marshall Fund, which monitors pro-Kremlin information networks.
On the afternoon of 17 August 2017, 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub drove a van into pedestrians on La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain, killing 13 people and injuring at least 130 others, one of whom died 10 days later on 27 August. Abouyaaqoub fled the attack on foot, then killed another person in order to steal the victim's car to make his escape.Nine hours after the Barcelona attack, five men thought to be members of the same terrorist cell drove into pedestrians in nearby Cambrils, killing one woman and injuring six others. All five of those attackers were shot and killed by police.The night before the Barcelona attack, an explosion occurred in a house in the Spanish town of Alcanar, destroying the building and killing two members of the terrorist cell; including the 40-year-old imam thought to be the mastermind. The home had over 120 gas canisters inside which police believe the cell was attempting to make into one large bomb (or three smaller bombs to be placed in three vans which they had rented) but which they accidentally detonated.The Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, called the attack in Barcelona a jihadist attack. Amaq News Agency attributed indirect responsibility for the attack to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The attacks were the deadliest in Spain since the March 2004 Madrid train bombings and the deadliest in Barcelona since the 1987 Hipercor bombing. Younes Abouyaaqoub, the driver of the van in the Barcelona attack, was killed by police in a town 30 miles west of Barcelona on 21 August.2017 independence referendum
There have been several independence referendums in 2017, referendums on independence.
Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum, 2017
Catalan independence referendum, 2017
Puerto Rican status referendum, 20172017–18 Spanish constitutional crisis
The 2017–18 Spanish constitutional crisis, also known as the Catalan crisis, was a political conflict between the Government of Spain and the Generalitat de Catalunya under former President Carles Puigdemont—the government of the autonomous community of Catalonia until 28 October 2017—over the issue of Catalan independence. It started after the law intending to allow the 2017 Catalan independence referendum was denounced by the Spanish government under Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and subsequently suspended by the Constitutional Court until it ruled on the issue. Some international media outlets have described the events as "one of the worst political crises in modern Spanish history".Puigdemont's government announced that neither central Spanish authorities nor the courts would halt their plans and that it intended to hold the vote anyway, sparking a legal backlash that quickly spread from the Spanish and Catalan governments to Catalan municipalities—as local mayors were urged by the Generalitat to provide logistical support and help for the electoral process to be carried out—as well as to the Constitutional Court, the High Court of Justice of Catalonia and state prosecutors. By 15 September, as pro-Catalan independence parties began their referendum campaigns, the Spanish government had launched an all-out legal offensive to thwart the upcoming vote, including threats of a financial takeover of much of the Catalan budget, police seizing pro-referendum posters, pamphlets and leaflets which had been regarded as illegal and criminal investigations ordered on the over 700 local mayors who had publicly agreed to help stage the referendum. Tensions between the two sides reached a critical point after Spanish police raided the Catalan government headquarters in Barcelona on 20 September, at the start of Operation Anubis, and arrested fourteen senior Catalan officials. This led to protests outside the Catalan economy department which saw Civil Guard officers trapped inside the building for hours and several vehicles vandalized. The referendum was eventually held, albeit without meeting minimum standards for elections and amid low turnout and police crackdown resulting in hundreds injured.On 10 October, Puigdemont ambiguously declared and suspended independence during a speech in the Parliament of Catalonia, arguing his move was directed at entering talks with Spain. The Spanish government required Puigdemont to clarify whether he had declared independence or not, to which it received no clear answer. A further requirement was met with an implicit threat from the Generalitat that it would lift the suspension on the independence declaration if Spain "continued its repression", in response to the imprisonment of the leaders of pro-independence Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, accused of sedition by the National Court because of their involvement in the 20 September events. On 21 October, it was announced by Prime Minister Rajoy that Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution would be invoked, leading to direct rule over Catalonia by the Spanish government once approved by the Senate.On 27 October, the Catalan parliament voted in a secret ballot to unilaterally declare independence from Spain, with some deputies boycotting a vote considered illegal for violating the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Spain, as the lawyers of the Parliament of Catalonia warned. As a result, the government of Spain invoked the Constitution to remove the regional authorities and enforce direct rule the next day, with a regional election being subsequently called for 21 December 2017 to elect a new Parliament of Catalonia. Puigdemont and part of his cabinet fled to Belgium after being ousted, as the Spanish Attorney General pressed for charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds against them.Andrew Rosindell
Andrew Richard Rosindell (born 17 March 1966) is a British Conservative politician. He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Romford constituency in Greater London. He is the international director of the European Foundation, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Flags & Heraldry Committee and the UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group on the British Overseas Territories, and member of the Flag Institute.Behind closed doors (sport)
The term "Behind Closed Doors" is used in several sports, primarily association football, to describe matches played where spectators are not allowed in the stadium to watch. The reasons for this may include punishment for a team found guilty of a certain act in the past, stadium safety issues or to prevent potentially dangerous clashes between rival supporters. It is predicated by articles 7, 12 and 24 of FIFA's disciplinary code.Carles Puigdemont
Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó (Catalan: [ˈkaɾləs ˌpudʒðəˈmon i ˌkazəməˈʒo] (listen); born 29 December 1962 in Amer, Girona) is a Catalan politician and journalist from Spain, currently living in Belgium. A former Mayor of Girona, Puigdemont served as President of the Government of Catalonia from January 2016 to October 2017 when he was removed from office by the Spanish Government following the unilateral Catalan declaration of independence. He is chair of the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) and leader of the Junts per Catalunya (JuntsxCat) electoral alliance.
After education in Amer and Girona, he became a journalist in 1982, writing for various local publications and becoming editor-in-chief of El Punt. He was director of the Catalan News Agency from 1999 to 2002 and director of Girona's House of Culture from 2002 to 2004.
Puigdemont's family were supporters of Catalan independence and Puigdemont became involved in politics as a teenager, joining the nationalist Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC), the predecessor to the PDeCAT, in 1980. He gave up journalism to pursue a career in politics in 2006 when he was elected as a member of the Parliament of Catalonia for the constituency of Girona. He was elected to the Municipality Council of Girona in 2007 and in 2011 he became Mayor of Girona. On 10 January 2016, following an agreement between the Junts pel Sí (JxSí), an electoral alliance led by the CDC, and the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), the Parliament of Catalonia elected Puigdemont as the 130th President of Catalonia.
On 6-7 September 2017, he approved laws for permitting an independence referendum, and the juridical transition and foundation of a Republic, a new constitution for Catalonia that would be in place if the referendum supported independence. On 1 October 2017, the Catalan independence referendum was held in Catalonia despite Spain's Constitutional Court ruling that it breached the Spanish constitution. Despite the Spanish Government's cyber attacks, the closing of polling stations and the use of excessive force by Spanish Police 43% of Catalan citizens managed to vote in the illegal referendum, 92% of them supporting independence. The Catalan Parliament declared independence on 27 October 2017 which resulted in the Spanish government imposing direct rule on Catalonia, dismissing Puigdemont and the Catalan government. The Catalan Parliament was dissolved and the Catalan regional election, 2017 was held. On 30 October 2017 charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds were brought against Puigdemont and other members of the Puigdemont Government. Puigdemont, along with others, fled to Belgium and European Arrest Warrants (EAW) were issued against them. At the regional elections held on 21 December 2017 Puigdemont was re-elected to Parliament and Catalan secessionists retained a slim majority. Official results shown an actual support for independence of 47,6% versus a 43,5% that voted constitutionalist parties, the rest being non-aligned parties and blank votes. Puigdemont called for fresh talks with the then Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy but these were rejected.
Puigdemont remained in Belgium to avoid arrest if he returned to Spain, with this situation being defined as exile by some, self-imposed exile by some others, and also as fugitive from justice. On 25 March 2018, he was detained by a highway patrol in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein. He was released on bail, with the court deciding he could not be extradited for "rebellion" as German law does not coincide with Spanish law on the definition thereof, a requirement of his EAW. On 10 July, 2018 a Supreme Court judge suspended him as a deputy in the Catalan parliament. On 12 July 2018 a German court decided that he could be extradited back to Spain for misuse of public funds, but not for the more serious charge of rebellion. Following this, on 19 July 2018, Spain dropped the European Arrest Warrants against Puigdemont and other Catalan officials in exile.Catalan Identitarian Movement
The Catalan Identitarian Movement (Catalan: Moviment Identitari Català) is a Catalan nationalist and far right political movement in the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia. It is an ethnic nationalist movement, supporting Catalan independence, opposed to immigration from outside of Europe, and in favor of controlling immigration within Europe. It is inspired by Estat Català and Nosaltres Sols!, the armed factions of Catalan separatism in the 1930s, as well as by the identitarian views of early Catalan nationalists.In September 2018, the MIC as well as the far-right pro-independence political party SOM Catalans, attended the annual floral offering to Rafael Casanova, chanting slogans against Spain and Islam.Three of its members were the only arrests made by the Catalan regional police during a counter-demonstration to a Jusapol (a Spanish police labor union) demonstration in October 2018. The members of Jusapol were demonstrating in support of Spanish police officers that had tried to suppress the 2017 Catalan independence referendum a year before.Catalan declaration of independence
The Catalan declaration of independence (Catalan: Declaració d'independència de Catalunya; Spanish: Declaración de Independencia de Cataluña) was a resolution that was passed by the Parliament of Catalonia on 27 October 2017, which declared the independence of Catalonia from Spain and the founding of an independent Catalan Republic. The declaration did not receive recognition from the international community.
On 10 October, in the aftermath of the 1 October 2017 Catalan independence referendum, a document establishing Catalonia as an independent republic was signed by the members of Catalonia's pro-independence parliamentary majority. The same document was voted for on 27 October by a majority of 70 out of 135 MPs in a plenary session (10 voted against, 2 abstained and 53 had left the Parliament before the voting as a sign of protest).Fifty-three MPs from the opposition refused to be present during the 27 October voting, after the legal services of the Catalan Parliament advised that the voting could not take place as the law on which it was based had been suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court.A few hours later, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain dismissed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and his cabinet, and called for fresh Catalan elections on 21 December 2017. The Deputy Prime Minister of Spain Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría was assigned to be the acting president of Catalonia until the December elections.Chris Law
Christopher Murray Alexander Law (born 21 October 1969) is the Scottish National Party Member of Parliament for Dundee West, having been elected in the 2015 general election. He was elected to a seat that had been held by Labour for the previous 65 years.Felipe VI of Spain
Felipe VI (Spanish: [feˈlipe]; Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos; born 30 January 1968) is the king of Spain. He ascended the throne on 19 June 2014 upon the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos I. His mother is Queen Sofía, and he has two sisters, Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo, and Infanta Cristina. When Spanish dictator Francisco Franco chose Juan Carlos as his successor in 1969, Felipe became second in line to the Spanish throne.
In 2004, Felipe married TV news journalist Letizia Ortiz with whom he has two daughters, Leonor (his heir presumptive) and Sofía. In accordance with the Spanish Constitution, as monarch, he is head of state and commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armed Forces, and also plays a role in promoting relations with Spanish America and the former Spanish East Indies, which are collectively called the "nations of its historical community".Flag of the Second Spanish Republic
The flag of the Second Spanish Republic, known in Spanish as la tricolor, was the official flag of Spain between 1931 and 1939 and the flag of the Spanish Republican government in exile until 1977.Free Sicilians
Free Sicilians (Italian: Siciliani Liberi; Sicilian: Siciliani Libbiri; SL) is a Sicilian nationalist and pro-independence political party in Sicily, Italy. The party was founded in 2016 in order to revive the island's right to self-government.Juan Antonio Ramírez Sunyer
Juan Antonio Ramírez Sunyer (9 September 1947 – 4 November 2018) was a Spanish judge and engineer. After passing through the courts of Terrassa, Sant Boi de Llobregat and Badalona, since 2003 he was in charge of the Court of Instruction number 13 of Barcelona. He issued controversial orders of provisional detention against the squatting movement and anti-establishment groups.Junts pel Sí
Junts pel Sí (IPA: [ˈʒuns pəl ˈsi]; English: Together for Yes; JxSí) was a Catalan political alliance and parliamentary group focused on achieving the independence of Catalonia from Spain. First standing in the 2015 Catalan regional election, it was composed of the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC), the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), Democrats of Catalonia (DC) and the Left Movement (MES). The Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) had been invited to participate in the alliance, but refused to do so and ran on its own instead.
The coalition was led by Raül Romeva, PhD in international relations and former eco-socialist MEP; Carme Forcadell, a linguist and former president of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC); Muriel Casals, economist and former president of Òmnium Cultural; President of the Generalitat of Catalonia and CDC leader Artur Mas and ERC leader Oriol Junqueras.
It formed a minority government since the 2015 election with confidence and supply support from the CUP, it was responsible for organising the 2017 Catalan independence referendum. On 4 November 2017, ERC chose not to rejoin JxSí ahead of the 2017 Catalan regional election.Oriol Junqueras
Oriol Junqueras i Vies (Catalan pronunciation: [uɾiˈɔʎ ʒuŋˈkeɾəz i ˈβi.əs]; born 11 April 1969) is a Spanish politician, historian and academic from Catalonia. A former mayor of the municipality of Sant Vicenç dels Horts in north-eastern Spain, Junqueras served as Vice President of Catalonia from January 2016 to October 2017 when he was removed from office following the Catalan declaration of independence. He is leader of the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC).
Born in 1969 in Barcelona, Junqueras grew up in the municipality of Sant Vicenç dels Horts. After graduating from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, he taught history at the university.
A supporter of Catalan independence, Junqueras joined the nationalist Republican Left of Catalonia. He was elected to the Municipality Council of Sant Vicenç dels Horts in 2007 and in 2011 he became mayor. He was elected to the European Parliament in 2009, a seat he held until January 2012.
In 2012 he was elected as a member of the Parliament of Catalonia for the Province of Barcelona. In January 2016, following an agreement between the Junts pel Sí (JxSí), an electoral alliance of which ERC was part of, and the Popular Unity Candidacy (PUP), Junqueras was appointed Vice President of Catalonia.
On 1 October 2017 an independence referendum was held in Catalonia despite the Constitutional Court ruling that it breached the Spanish constitution. 92% supported independence though turnout was only 43% due to a boycott by those against independence and fears of state-sponsored violence. The Catalan Parliament declared independence on 27 October 2017 which resulted in the Spanish government imposing direct rule on Catalonia, dismissing the Catalan government. The Catalan Parliament was dissolved and fresh elections called. On 30 October 2017 charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds were brought against Junqueras and other members of the Catalan government. On 2 November 2017 Junqueras and seven other Catalan ministers were remanded in custody by the Audiencia Nacional. Six of the ministers were released on bail on 4 December 2017 but Junqueras and Minister of the Interior Joaquim Forn were kept in custody. At the regional elections held on 21 December 2017 Junqueras was re-elected to Parliament and Catalan pro-independence parties retained an absolute parliamentary majority. Junqueras was suspended as an MP by a Supreme Court judge on 10 July 2018 and remains in prison. Trial is expected to start on 12 February 2019.Puigdemont Government
The Puigdemont Government was the regional government of Catalonia led by President Carles Puigdemont between 2016 and 2017. It was formed in January 2016 after the resignation of Puigdemont's predecessor Artur Mas and it ended in October 2017 with the imposition of direct rule following the Catalan declaration of independence.Scottish National Party
The Scottish National Party (SNP; Scottish Gaelic: Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba, Scots: Scots Naitional Pairtie) is a Scottish nationalist and social-democratic political party in Scotland. The SNP supports and campaigns for Scottish independence. It is the second-largest political party by membership in the United Kingdom, behind the Labour Party and ahead of the Conservative Party, it is the third-largest by overall representation in the House of Commons, behind the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, and it is the largest political party in Scotland, where it has the most seats in the Scottish Parliament and 35 out of the 59 Scottish seats in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The current Scottish National Party leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has served as First Minister of Scotland since November 2014.
Founded in 1934 with the amalgamation of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, the party has had continuous parliamentary representation in Westminster since Winnie Ewing won the 1967 Hamilton by-election. With the establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999, the SNP became the second-largest party, serving two terms as the opposition. The SNP gained power at the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, forming a minority government, before going on to win the 2011 Parliament election, after which it formed Holyrood's first majority government. It was reduced back to a minority government at the 2016 election.
The SNP is the largest political party in Scotland in terms of both seats in the Westminster and Holyrood parliaments, and membership; reaching 125,482 members as of August 2018, 35 MPs and over 400 local councillors. The SNP also currently has 2 MEPs in the European Parliament, who sit in The Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) group. The SNP is a member of the European Free Alliance (EFA). The party does not have any members of the House of Lords, as it has always maintained a position of objecting to an unelected upper house.Serbia–Spain relations
Serbian-Spanish relations are foreign relations between Serbia and Spain. Both countries established diplomatic relations on October 14, 1916. Serbia has an embassy in Madrid. Spain has an embassy in Belgrade. Both countries are member states of the United Nations, Interpol, Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Spain is member state of the European Union since 1986 and Serbia is a candidate country since 2012 negotiating its future membership which Spain is strongly supporting. Spain is member state of NATO alliance while Serbia is militarily neutral country with strong historical relations with the Non-Aligned Movement.
Spain is one of five member states of the European Union that does not recognize unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo and is actively opposing its membership in international organisations such as UNSCO and Interpol. In addition, Spain is supporting Serbia's insistence on establishment of Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo as provided by the 2013 Brussels Agreement signed under the auspices of the European Union. Some explained hard Spanish position towards Kosovo by drawing parallels with its own internal issues with the Catalan independence movement and with the United Kingdom dispute over Gibraltar. Serbia strongly supported Spanish territorial integrity during the 2017 Catalan independence referendum crisis with Serbian Foreign Minister stating that Spain is one of the best international friends of Serbia.In relation to third parties, both countries strongly support position of Argentina in its Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute with the United Kingdom.Trial of Catalonia independence leaders
The trial of the Catalonia independence leaders, legally named Causa especial 20907/2017 of the Supreme Court of Spain, and popularly known as the Causa del procés, is an oral trial that began on 12 February 2019 in the Supreme Court of Spain. Judge Pablo Llarena coordinated an instruction between October 2017 and July 2018, as a result of which 18 people will be tried, including almost all of Carles Puigdemont's cabinet, political activists Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, the former President of the Parliament of Catalonia Carme Forcadell and several of its members. Some defendants have remained in pre-trial detention without bail since the beginning of the instruction. Amnesty International, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have expressed strong concerns over this measure and the severity of the charges pressed.