In Europe, Scotland is not the only place where independence is high on the agenda of many people. This Sunday the residents of Catalonia will go to the voting polls as the party in power is seeking a mandate to hold a referendum. Campaigning ends on Friday in one of Catalan’s hardest-fought elections since democracy was restored. The election is both personal and bitter after Madrid rejected the new fiscal pact by president Artur Mas.
The refusal from Madrid followed demonstrations that were pro-independence where over 1.5 million people took to the streets of the city of Barcelona and Mas called the election in an attempt to win a mandate to hold an official referendum. The response to that has been nothing less than ferocious.
This past week, El Mundo printed accusations of widespread corruption by Mas and Jordi Pujol’s son Oriol Pujol. The elder Pujol is an important figure in Catalan politics.
Mas angrily denied all of the accusations and described them as just an attempt by the Spanish government to derail their democratic process. Many believe that following the vote on Sunday a clear majority will be in favor of independence in the Catalan parliament.
Mas has mentioned Scotland many times during his campaign, saying an outright majority similar to what the SNP enjoyed is need to ensure a referendum takes place. That has already been written off by most of the press that is based in Madrid. However, local observers have pointed out a large bloc of undecided voters that are still deciding between the CiU and the left ERC.
As Sunday’s vote approaches, many believe anything can happen and want to wait until Sunday night or Monday morning to get their hopes up.