2016 | 16(23) | 27-41
Article title

Ara es l’hora? The Approach of the Catalan Political Scene to Independence Issues

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The political situation in Catalonia during the last months is changing almost daily. Catalan nationalist movements consistently continue their efforts to create an independent state. As a result, every vote – an unofficial plebiscite, local elections or elections to the Catalan parliament – is treated like a referendum on the matter of independence. The Catalan actions that are ever more faster and further-reaching meet with a growing opposition of the central government, threatening the Catalan authorities with a number of sanctions in case of taking further, concrete steps to break away from Spain. Although, from the outside, the Catalan independence parties seem to be a monolith, the situation on the regional political scene is much more complex. During the past several months, the balance of power of political parties in Catalonia was completely changed. Ruling for almost thirty years, Convergencia i Unió divided and the results of the election of 27 September forced Prime Minister Artur Mas (of the centre-right CiU) and the leaders of the new pro-independence coalition Junts pel Si to seek an ally in the far-left Popular Unity Candidacy. Therefore, this is a time of difficult choices for Catalonia, not only in relation to the issue of independence, but also when it comes to alliances on the national political scene. In this article, I will try to analyze the curent political scene in Catalonia and its impact on the independence aspirations of the Autonomous Community. I will examine the current balance of power of political parties and the changes that have occurred in 2015. I will look at the programmes of the leading – in recent years as well as currently – Catalan political factions in terms of their outlook on the issue of independence. Finally, I will consider in what way the complex situation on the Catalan political scene may become a determinant of the effectiveness of the demands for independence made by the authorities of Catalonia.
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