Catalonia to Stick to Independence Road Map Despite Spanish Stalemate (The New York Times)
Interview with Raül Romeva, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations, and Transparency of the Catalan Government
Reuters, London.- Catalonia will stick to its timetable for independence from Spain despite the national political stalemate and the Madrid government’s refusal to negotiate, the region’s foreign policy chief said on Wednesday.
Raul Romeva said that independence for Catalonia was now inevitable, with or without Madrid’s blessing.
“The turning point has already been crossed, it is going to happen. When is the question,” he said in an interview at the Catalan delegation in London. “We are not going to be waiting forever.”
Spain has been in political limbo since an inconclusive election last December in which no party gained a majority.
The issue of whether to grant Catalonia a binding referendum on independence was one stumbling block as parties tried to form a coalition. Their failure to do so means that Spaniards will now go to the polls again on June 26.
“We cannot be prisoners of this,” Romeva said.
Romeva was ordered to drop his title of Catalan foreign minister by Spain’s constitutional court in February on the grounds that only the state could have a formal foreign policy, an indication of the depth of sensibilities.
The central government and a majority of Spaniards have long opposed independence for the wealthy, industrialized northeastern region, which is home to 7.5 million, or about a sixth of Spain’s population.
Acting premier Mariano Rajoy, in a meeting last week with Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, again refused to contemplate a referendum.
Romeva said a new dynamic had come into play since a pro-independence regional government won power in a Catalan vote last year, claiming it had a democratic mandate to go ahead.
Critics dismiss this view however because the pro-secession camp, while winning a majority of seats, fell short of winning a majority of votes in the election.
Full original article: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2016/04/27/world/europe/27reuters-spain-politics-catalonia-romeva.html?_r=1