Catalonia Prepares Secret Bill For Independence From Spain

REUTERS/Albert Gea

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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The Catalan regional government has reportedly drafted a secret bill to break from Spain with or without a second referendum on the issue, Spanish newspaper El Pais released Monday.

Catalonia — where Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city, is located — has pushed for an independence referendum for several years. The regional government has promised a vote no later than this fall, but the Spanish government has shut down any attempts.

The bill sets a blueprint for independence even if the federal government objects. It handles questions on who would retain citizenship and what would happen to national government officials “despite being plagued by legal holes and unknowns,” El Pais reports.

If a referendum takes place, the question would read: “Should Catalonia be a state independent from Spain?” No minimum threshold would be required and the outcome would be binding.

An 80 percent majority backed independence in a symbolic referendum in 2014, which the federal government ruled unconstitutional. Three former officials, including the former Catalan President Artur Mas, were barred from holding public office as a result.

Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaria urged Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont to debate his proposal Friday in the national parliament, as it “affects national sovereignty.”

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