The Slatest

Catalonia Will Defy Spanish Government, Hold (Non-Binding) Independence Vote

Separatists in a photo taken Friday, Sept. 19. The slogan means “We Will Vote November 9th.”

Albert Gea/Reuters

The regional government of Catalonia will hold a Nov. 9 referendum à la Scotland on the question of whether the area should declare independence from Spain—but the results will be non-binding, seemingly making the vote something of an elaborate opinion poll. The national government in Madrid is nonetheless not pleased. From Reuters:

Unlike London, which allowed the Scottish vote, Madrid says even a non-binding referendum would violate the Spanish constitution and has pledged to block it in the courts.


Spanish political leaders, including centre-right Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Socialist opposition leader Pedro Sanchez, hailed the Scottish “no” vote and said the outcome demonstrated the value of unity for Spain.

The Guardian observes that Catalonia is a larger part of Spain than Scotland is of the U.K. from an economic standpoint, accounting for “nearly one-fifth” of the country’s GDP. Scotland contributes 9.5 percent of the U.K.’s GDP.

Correction, September 22, 2014: This post originally referred incorrectly to “the regional government of Catalan.” Catalan is a language and identity; Catalonia is a place.