Catalonia holds informal vote: '80% back independence from Spain'

In what might give momentum to the idea of Catalonian independence, an informal poll held in Spain's autonomous region has showed that a whopping 80% people would prefer to secede from the country and want an independent state of their own.

By Supriya Jha | Updated: Nov 10, 2014, 17:08 PM IST
Catalonia holds informal vote: '80% back independence from Spain'

Madrid: In what might give momentum to the idea of Catalonian independence, an informal poll held in Spain's autonomous region has showed that a whopping 80% people would prefer to secede from the country and want an independent state of their own.

In spite a mammoth opposition from Spain's central authorities, the regional leaders of Catalonia managed to hold an informal poll on Catalonian independence, giving the regions's voters a chance to express their preference.

According to the BBC, 80 percent of Catalonian voters said yes to independence from Spain. In the poll, the voters were asked two questions - whether they wanted Catalonia to be a state and whether they wanted that state to be independent.

More than 80 percent were said to have voted yes to bothe of the questions and a meagre 4.5 percent voters stamped no to both the questions.

According to Vice President Joana Ortega, more than two million people had taken part in what was dubbed as "consultation of citizens", the BBC reported.

Catalonia has a population of over 7 million people out of which 5.4 million can vote.

The informal poll was held after Spain's Constitutional Court had issued a ban on a formal Scottish-style vote.

The informal poll was hailed by Catalan leader Artur Mas who called it "a great success", saying that the results had earned them right to a referendum.

"Once again Catalonia has shown that it wants to rule itself," he said.

However, Spain's Justice Minister Rafael Catala wrote off the poll calling it a "fruitless and useless" exercise that lacked of any democracy and perpetrated political propaganda.

Earlier, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had cautioned people not to take part in the vote which would be "neither a referendum nor a consultation” and urged them to return to "sanity", media reports said.

The Catalonians, apparently inspired hugely by Scotland's independence campaign, have been pushing for a similar vote.

Catalonia, a rich portion in Spain's north east, accounts for 20 percent of Spain's economy and has been seeking autonomy for long, but what ignited the spark again was Scottish vote.