by Megan Thomas
Plaid Cymru have given their support to the Catalonian struggle for independence. The Catalonian independence movement made headlines recently, when the Catalonian Government held an independence referendum that the central Spanish Government in Madrid declared illegal and against the Spanish constitution. What followed was shocking violence against the Catalan voters on behalf of the Spanish Government (the Catalan Government has stated that over 700 people were injured).
In a statement, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood AM said, “The Catalan people have insisted on a democratic route to achieving independence through the ballot box. They are to be commended for continuing to reject violence even though they have faced brutality from the Spanish State”, before urging the Welsh Assembly to recognize Catalonia as an independent state.
Spain has fired the Catalonian President and imposed direct rule upon the region, and a snap regional election has been called for December 2017. Pdecat (Catalan European Democratic Party) and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia), the parties of the ex-leaders, have said that they will agree to this election.
Independence has been a hot topic in Catalonia for a long time. In January 2015, a non-binding poll showing support for independence had Artur Mas, the President of Catalan at the time, calling for regional elections. The outcome of the referendum was 90% in favour of independence, although the legitimacy of this claim has been called into question due to the high likelihood of people voting twice.
The national Government in Westminster has said that the UK “does not and will not” recognise Catalonian independence, citing the illegal referendum as their reason.