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    Academic on Catalan Independence Future: No Possibility of Real Referendum

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    The Spanish central government has called a general election; as Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez faces a crisis of confidence from his Catalan backers. Could he be ousted after less than a year in power? Sputnik spoke with Andrew Dowling; Reader in Hispanic Studies at Cardiff University for more…

    Sputnik: What will Sanchez have to do to remain in power? Could he make concessions with Catalonia regarding the trial?

    Andrew Dowling: I think he can't make any concessions regarding the trial; he'll have to let it play out. It is expected to last three months, and it's still likely to be ongoing by the time of the election.

    In a sense; his vulnerability is on the national unity question, so he won't make any promises about that, but if he wins the election, he may promise to deliver something, but I don't think there will be any offers on the table at this stage.

    His party; the Spanish Socialist Party is currently in the lead, but basically no Spanish party for a number of years now, has been able to form a parliamentary majority, so whoever becomes the next Spanish Prime Minister is going to need an alliance with other parties.

    I think it's going to be very close. Potentially you have the socialists Podemos, and then lots of other national and regional groupings, and the important thing to note is all the national and regional groupings won't ally with the three Spanish Conservative parties who are standing, so it's a very complex situation and it could be very close.

    There's probably a slight advantage to the left; because they've got those other parties in the regions that might support them.

    Sputnik: Would Spain ever give Catalonia an official referendum?

    Andrew Dowling: No I don't think so; we've seen a kind of doubling down on the rhetoric of Spanish unity in the recent past.

    The best the Catalans can hope for in terms of a vote, might be on a new perhaps semi-federal arrangement, where they'll be given the opportunity of a yes or no, but I do not see for the foreseeable future; the possibility of a real referendum, like was held in Scotland.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    referendum, independence, Scotland, Catalonia, Spain
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