Spain’s Catalan separatists are demanding a Scottish-like referendum ahead of Socialist Pedro Sánchez’s attempt to land another term as Prime Minister.
In addition to the so-called “Scottish Way”, Carles Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya (Junts) party also demanded an Amnesty Law.
Junts said the Socialist Party (PSOE) must register the Amnesty bill before Sánchez’s debate, which is set to take place in late November.
Junts wants this law to benefit some 4,000 people currently being prosecuted for alleged involvement in the October 2017 illegal Catalan referendum and declaration of independence.
On October 21, Puigdemont tweeted that Catalonia is “an old European nation” that has been attacked by “the Spanish political regime”.
Per si algú ha perdut aquest fragment de la meva conferència del 5 de setembre a Brussel·les, el torno a reproduir: pic.twitter.com/9ImlYxfXIu
— krls.eth / Carles Puigdemont (@KRLS) October 22, 2023
He added that independence was “the only way to continue existing as a nation”.
Both Junts and the left-wing separatist Esquerra Republicana (ERC) party agree on the Scottish Way for the self-determination referendum.
Unlike Junts, ERC is not calling for the vote as a precondition to support Sánchez’s prime ministerial bid.
The president of the Catalonia region, ERC’s Pere Aragonès, said last week: “The conditions to support Sánchez have been laid out already.”
“There are no new conditions.”
The issue of Catalonia’s independence “goes beyond a bid for PM”, he added.
Like Junts, Aragonès defended the call that Catalonia and the Spanish Government must agree on the terms of a binding self-determination referendum, in the same way then-UK prime minister David Cameron and his Scottish counterpart, then-First Minister Alex Salmond, did in 2014.
Analysts claimed this Scottish Way would suppress the “unilateral” nature of a Catalan referendum, thereby making it legal.
The centre-right Partido Popular (PP) said Sánchez’s “clandestine” negotiations were just the “starting point” of Catalan separatism.
PP president Alberto Núñez Feijóo argued that “to shake the [separatists’] hands is to turn one’s back on democracy”.
The de-facto leader of the opposition added: “This will be the end of Pedro Sánchez.”
The PP also claims the PSOE – which leads the acting Spanish Government – has not contacted members for their input on the issue of independence or the Amnesty Law.
“None of these questions were laid out during the campaign,” it stated.
The issue of Catalan independence has raised questions around the Spanish Constitution.
That proclaims the “the indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards”.
The Spanish Constitutional Court has already offered its interpretation, stating that a self-determination referendum would be illegal.