April 18. 2024. 12:13

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Half of Catalans against independence, two-thirds want referendum


Half of the Catalans oppose secession from the rest of Spain, while 77% want a referendum to decide the region’s destiny, data from a new survey published on Wednesday revealed. Read more.

The percentage of people rejecting separation from Spain is the same as one year ago, results from a public Catalan survey revealed, while 43% – up one percentage point – favour an “independent Catalonia”, and 7% are undecided, EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported.

According to the survey, 77% said they “agree or strongly agree” that Catalans “have the right to decide their future as a country by voting in a referendum”, compared to 16% who disagree or strongly disagree, according to the Centre for Opinion Studies (CEO), better known as the “Catalan barometer”.

As for the future political model of the region, preferences increase for Catalonia to remain an autonomous community, with 32% of support compared to 29% of the previous study, released in November 2022, and for it to become a federal state: 23% compared to 20% last year.

The option of creating an “independent state” fell by one percentage point (33%) and that of a region of Spain by two percentage points (6%) compared with November 2022.

On the other hand, the CEO survey reveals an improvement in the perception of the political management of the region by the local and central governments – two institutions that obtained an average score of 3.5 in the previous barometer and one of 4.2 and 4.1, respectively, in the new survey.

On the other hand, the regional branch of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSC) would consolidate its latest victory if new parliamentary elections were held today, with 34-40 seats.

The PSC would be followed by pro-independence Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC, Republican Left of Catalonia), with 29-34, and pro-secession Junts Per Catalunya (JxCat, Together for Catalonia), with 22-28.

The survey, conducted by GESOP on behalf of the CEO and based on 2,000 personal interviews, ranks centre-right Partido Popular (PP/EPP) fourth, with a range of eight to 12 seats in the Catalan regional parliament.

There would thus be a three-way tie with pro-independence CUP (8-12) and left-wing En Comú Podem (7-12), ahead of the far-right VOX party (7-10) and centre-liberal Ciutadans (Citizens, CS), which would almost disappear (0-5) from the Catalan Chamber.

Possible tie in a general election

If a general election were held today in Catalonia, the PSC would obtain between 12 and 15 seats and ERC between 11 and 15 and could tie in terms of seats, followed by En Comú Podem (4-8), which would move up from the fifth place in a previous CEO survey to the third place now.

JxCat could drop to fourth place, with a range of between five and seven seats in the Spanish Parliament, followed by the PP (2-5), a tie between Vox and the CUP -between 1 and 4 seats-, and CS, with an estimate of between 0 and one seat.

Spain will hold regional and municipal elections on 28 May, with a general election due in December, in the final month of Madrid’s presidency of the EU Council.

(Fernando Heller | EuroEFE.EURACTIV.es)