“Voting does not divide us, it unites us,” says Catalan regional premier

Artur Mas calls on Spanish government to allow independence referendum in wake of Scottish result

Artur Mas speaks to the press on Friday morning.
Artur Mas speaks to the press on Friday morning.Albert Garcia

The Catalan regional premier, Artur Mas, said on Friday that the referendum held the day before on independence for Scotland “is the way, the good way, and the only way to resolve such conflicts.” During a brief press conference, Mas argued that “voting does not divide us, it unites us,” and pointed to the high voter participation in the Scottish vote (85 percent), in which votes against independence eventually came in at 55 percent.

Mas’s government is calling for a similar referendum for Catalan independence, and is expected to pass a law today that would clear the path for such a poll to take place on November 9. Spain’s central government in Madrid, however, is dead set against such a vote from taking place, and is planning on appealing the regional law with the Constitutional Court as soon as it is passed.

Scotland “gave the world a great lesson in democracy,” Mas said on Friday, thanking the nation for “showing others the path.” “What creates divisions is not being able to vote,” Mas insisted, directly referencing the Spanish government. “Do you see that when you allow a vote to take place you can also win?” he continued, stating that “the whole world must accept the result” of a referendum of this type.

Mas also announced that the process in motion in Catalonia “will continue,” but he did not announce when the law approving the referendum vote would be submitted to the regional parliament.

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