The Spanish parliament has been debating whether to grant greater autonomy to the rich region of Catalonia. Under the breakaway plans, Catalonia would control its own taxes and most aspects of its economy, as well as the judiciary, the police, ports and airports.
Some of the country’s poorer regions say it will create a Spain of “haves and have-nots”. But the leader of Catalonia’s Moderate Nationalists said MPs “must not mistakenly make people afraid by saying the law will lead to the break-up of Spain or present Catalans as greedy and selfish people,” said Artur Mas, leader of centre-right Catalan party CiU.
“Catalonia is a nation. We remained conscious of this in the hardest period of the dictatorship and we are not going to renounce it in full democracy, because there is no law that can repress feelings,” Josep-Lluis Carod-Rovira, head of Catalan coalition member ERC, told parliament.