Dec. 13, 2013, 10:20 a.m.
The government of the Autonomous Region of Catalonia in Spain has agreed to hold a referendum on November 9, 2014 to determine the future status of the region. There have been growing calls for independence of the region in recent years, and on Thursday, President of the Generalitat Artur MAS i Gavarró announced that the referendum would be held next year. In the referendum, voters will be asked two questions. First, voters will be asked “Do you want Catalonia to be a state?” and second, “Do you want that state to be independent?” The Spanish government has said it will try and block Catalonia from holding the referendum, saying that it violates the Spanish constitution. The European Union and NATO have also stated that if the referendum goes ahead, a new Catalan state would not automatically be granted entry to either institution. Despite this, a recent poll from the Spanish newspaper El País shows that 46 percent of Catalans would prefer separatism, to 42 percent who prefer to remain in Spain.