“Independent future a possibility” according to Catalonian journalist

Catalan journalist Xavier Ginesta believes that there is a potential for an independent Catalonia.

Catalonia is one of 17 autonomous regions in Spain, and have been campaigning for independence since the 19th century, however calls have been more potent since 2010 according to Ginesta.

In October 2017, a referendum took place on the regions independence, which had a 90% yes vote, but was ruled illegal by the Spanish central government. 

Ginesta is also a lecturer at the University of Vic in the regions capital, Barcelona. Credit: Henry Deacon

Ginesta believes that a vote validated by Cortes Generales, the Spanish Parliament, is only a matter of time away.

He said: “80% of the population want a referendum so it is impossible not to have one.

“48% of the population want to be independent, 48% want to be in Spain and the rest of the population we don’t know about.

“There’s a confrontation about how we feel inside Spain and the future of independence in Catalonia.”

With the Spanish elections taking place this weekend, the far right groups could make up 43.2% of votes in the congress according to El Pais.

Ginesta says this could be a major sticking point in any potential push for Catalonian independence.

“The status of Catalonia is a big debate in Spain right now with the right wing parties wanting to abolish autonomy.

“There’s an argument that the autonomies are not working correctly and needs to be reconfigured.”

Barcelona is the capital of the automatous region. Credit: IHG

Calls for a referendum have gathered momentum following the Scottish Referendum in 2014 according to Ginesta, and believes that Scotland has been a shining example of how to deal with getting an Independence vote.

“Scotland have always been a mirror in the way that they defended their right to a referendum.

“The leaders inside the state (Catalonia) have asked to follow the example of Scotland.”

The Spanish government have always seen a potential for one referendum in Catalonia to lead to another one in a separate region, most notably the Basque Country, with Ginesta stating that violence and protests are used a way for the Spanish government to defend their right to deny votes.

“The Spanish state are worried about a potential domino effect on a referendum in Catalonia.” He said.

“If there is a legal one, they fear the Basque Country will also ask for one.

“So the answer of the state is to create storytelling of violence and conflict and was interested in creating an atmosphere of violence when riots took place recently.”