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Ex-leader Mas says Catalonia is not ready for 'real independence'

Divisions are emerging over whether now is the right time to declare independence from Spain

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Ex-leader Mas says Catalonia is not ready for 'real independence'

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Former Catalonian government leader Artur Mas has said the region is not yet ready for ‘real independence’.

Mas, currently barred from public office for staging an informal independence referendum in 2014, told the Financial Times on Friday that Catalonia had yet to lay the groundwork.

He said there was a debate among Catalan leaders about whether now was the right time to unilaterally declare independence.



But his note of caution is the last thing some separatist politicians want to hear.

Carles Riera of radical pro-independence party CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy) says the next plenary session of parliament on Tuesday is “an opportunity, a key moment” for it to ratify and confirm the results of last weekend’s referendum, which was banned by Madrid.

He said that would mean it ratifying an independence declaration.

Others though are determined the region should stay within Spain.

“I can’t anticipate what will happen,” said Eva Granados of the Catalan Socialist Party.

“We don`t want a unilateral independence declaration. We think that if it is declared, the situation will be terrible. It will lead us to a cliff edge. But I would like to believe that this is not happening.”

The Spanish government has stepped up economic pressure on Catalonia, enabling firms to more easily move their operations elsewhere.

Lenders Sabadell and CaixaBank are leading the exodus. And Catalonia-based utility Gas Natural is temporarily moving its registered office to Madrid for as long as the uncertainty continues.


with Reuters