Catalonia: ‘After 9 November, nothing will be the same’

10 November 2014 – VoxEurop El Periódico de Catalunya, La Vanguardia, El País, ABC

Over 80 per cent of participants voted “yes” for independence in a symbolic ballot organised by the regional government of Catalonia and contested by the Spanish central authority. The 9 November vote drew more than 2.2 million people in total.

According to official results, 2,236,000 ballots were cast, or 35.7 per cent of registered voters. Among them, 80.76 voted “yes” to the questions “Do you want Catalonia to be its own state? If so, do you want it to be independent?”

In Barcelona, El Periódico headlines with “Full sovereigntist”, proclaiming that —

El Periódico de Catalunya, Barcelona

Nothing was decided on 9 November, but after 9 November, nothing will be the same. […] The Catalonia that wants to determine its own future — with all the guarantees — is still standing and moving forwards. And it is demanding a response. The government’s strategy of remaining silent has proven as ineffective as its attempts to ban the decision and show contempt.

“A massive 9 November demands a political outcome,” headlines another Barcelona daily, La Vanguardia, for which the “unprecedented mobilisation marks a political point of no return in relations between the Catalan regional government and the central government”. Regional president Artur Mas has indeed —

La Vanguardia, Barcelona

once again called upon the Spanish prime minister [Mariano Rajoy] to “face up to the question of Catalonia in a concrete way”. [Rajoy said] the day was “useless” and would have “no repercussions”. Legal repercussions, no, but the fifth mass mobilisation in five years puts on pressure to bring an end to political inaction.

El País takes a similar view in its headline “Mas: now, the ‘real’ referendum”, and argues the moment has come for Mas and Rajoy to “return to the table” —

El País, Madrid

The two executives must now come up with a plan, a process and a flexible timeline to address the major issues for decisive reforms (powers, finances, language) that could be the basis of a credible, shared and lasting solution.

Conservative ABC, headlining “Farce and disobedience”, criticises the Rajoy government’s lack of action to prevent a vote that was declared illegal by the Constitutional Court —

ABC, Madrid

The terms and conditions of each stage of dialogue between the two administrations should have been defined by the central government, through the firm exercise of the constitutional mechanisms designed to protect the general interest. This has not been the case. […] In Spain, everyone is free to disrespect the Constitution.