SOVEREIGNTY STRUGGLE

Mas steps back from brink on Catalan sovereignty vote status

Regional premier admits that planned referendum would not have true legal impact on Spain

Catalan premier Artur Mas on Wednesday said that any referendum on independence in the northern region would not have any legal ramifications. “We will find a way to give the consultation a form of legality. But it is not the same thing to hold a referendum within the Spanish state and with a legal framework as to hold one organized by the Catalan institutions without juridical consistency,” Mas said in an interview with Catalunya Ràdio.

Mas intends to negotiate with the central government to seek approval for the vote and will also meet with King Juan Carlos at a later date. However, he warned that the Royal Household would have no direct role in the process. “There are opinions that it is better the crown expresses in private, not in public.”

The Catalan leader justified his pro-sovereignty stance, arguing that without state powers, his region has no means to escape the recession. “[Madrid] obliges us to reduce the deficit, to make cutbacks. [...] We are being drowned. We were prevented from imposing a euro fee for prescriptions [by the Constitutional Court] and we are not presented with an alternative. They give no quarter. And that’s when you just have to wake up.”

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