The Catalan vote: That escalated quickly

By Yves Faguy October 2, 20172 October 2017

The Catalan vote: That escalated quickly

A day after the Catalan referendum, marred by disturbing images of the Spanish police’s harsh response, Spain faces a constitutional crisis and the question on everyone’s mind is “what now”? 

The question: “Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?”

The answer: Catalonia’s government reports that just under 90 per cent of voters backed independence. But turnout stood at 42 per cent.

Legally speaking: The vote is non-binding. But politics are quickly taking over.

How the main players see it: Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy defended the police’s actions, and maintains the vote is illegal. Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said Catalonia had “won the right to statehood” before adding today that the region is not seeking “a traumatic break.” He's also calling for outside mediation.

Outside reaction: The EU is stuck in the middle. Mindful not to encourage other separatist forces within its member states, Brussels has made its position clear that the Catalan referendum was "not legal."  Canada is trying its best to be quiet about the police violence with a statement from the foreign minister’s office that solutions must be found “within the rule of law, according to the Spanish Constitution, and through peaceful dialogue.” Parti Québécois leader Jean-François Lisée is calling on all supporters of democracy to denounce the violence.

Next steps: Guy Hedgecoe outlines some possibilities, ranging from new Catalan parliamentary elections to Rajoy’s resignation. “Perhaps the least likely development: Rajoy and Puigdemont finally engage in a meaningful dialogue, possibly with outside mediation.”

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