Catalan Nationalists Draft Sovereignty Bill

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Mar 25 19:53:50 UTC 2003

New York Times, March 25, 2003

Catalan Nationalists Draft Sovereignty Bill


    BARCELONA, Spain, March 24 Taking a leaf from the Basques' book,
Catalan nationalists have proposed turning the northeastern region of
Catalonia into a sovereign state associated with Madrid, the Spanish press
reported today. The moderate Convergency and Unity coalition, which has
held power in the semiautonomous region of Catalonia since 1980, published
a new draft statute over the weekend that calls for sovereignty in
association with Spain.

The draft calls for direct representation at the European Union level, the
right to self-determination and a single civil administration for the
province. The draft urges that all residents in the region should speak
Catalan as well as Spanish. Catalonian teams would take part in
international competitions in their own right. The move is aimed at
stepping up the powers of regional government, within the framework of
Spain's Constitution, the reports in the Spanish and Catalonian press

The proposal has been criticized by Spain's governing rightist Popular
Party and the opposition Socialists as "electioneering" ahead of the
regional elections scheduled for October.  The BBC reported that despite
the Socialists' criticism, its sister party in Catalonia was working on a
similar plan of its own. In September, the autonomous Basque region
proposed a free association between the region and Spain. The Basque
parliament is to debate the plan by the end of the year.

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