The Spanish parliament looks set to reject Catalonia’s bid to hold a referendum on independence.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party and the Socialists hold a majority in the assembly and both have said they will vote against the motion.
“As prime minister I am and will be everyone’s prime minister. I defend Catalonia as part of Spain, because I can’t think of Spain without Catalonia and I can’t think of Catalonia outside Spain and Europe.” said Prime Minister Rajoy.
Catalan leader Artur Mas said he would pursue other legal avenues if the referendum is rejected:
Support remains strong for a breakaway as Catalans accuse Madrid of taking its money in taxes then discriminating against the Catalan language.
Marta Rovira is parliamentary spokesperson for Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC):
“It is so easy to imagine a scenario like the Scottish situation. It is very simple. A table, two chairs, some papers, a pen a lot of political will and sensitivity.”
Catalans have no love for Rajoy since he led the fight against the 2006 Catalan Statute of Autonomy, an institutional framework detailing the regions rights and political powers.