23:54 GMT +323 January 2020
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    Future of Spain 'At Risk' if Catalonia Becomes Independent: Catalan Political Scientist

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    A leading Catalonian political scientist has told RIA Novosti that he does not believe the Catalan President will proceed with a referendum on November 9th and will instead call early elections in an attempt to secure a mandate to declare independence for Catalonia.

    LONDON, October 9 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – A leading Catalonian political scientist has told RIA Novosti that he does not believe the Catalan President will proceed with a referendum on November 9th and will instead call early elections in an attempt to secure a mandate to declare independence for Catalonia.

    Xavier Solano, a former representative of the Catalonian Government in the UK, told RIA Novosti, "I don't think that the proposed referendum on the 9th of November in Catalonia will go ahead. I don't think the Catalonian Government are going to ask the people to participate in a referendum that is not going to be recognized by Spain or even allowed by Spain.

    "We don't agree with the ruling of the Spanish constitutional court, or more precisely the suspension of the referendum by the constitutional court, but I don't think the President of Catalonia is going to go ahead with something that has been suspended," Solano added.

    "I think that what is going to happen is the Catalan President will call for early elections and then it is going to be up to the independence parties to use these elections as a kind of referendum by putting just one point in their manifesto which will just be a declaration of independence," Solano said.

    Solano told RIA Novosti that he does not believe the Spanish Government is ideologically opposed to the concept of Catalonian independence, but rather the consequence that would follow it with other Spanish territories carefully watching how the Catalonian issue will be resolved.

    "I don't think Madrid is necessarily fighting against the independence of Catalonia," Solano said. "I think Madrid is fighting for the survival of Spain. If Catalonia goes, the Basque country will follow shortly.

    "Think about the Basques. They are being extremely quiet right now and I think they are waiting to see what happens," Solano told RIA Novosti.

    "There is a clear majority in the Basque country and very close to the political situation we have in Catalonia. But what they have decided to do is wait and see, but if Catalonia goes so will the Basques," Solano said.

    "If that happens Spain will be on a very slippery slope in the sense that there are other Spanish territories that have been financially punished like the Balearic Islands and Valencia which are net contributors to Spain but they don't have a say in how they are run," Solano added."

    The consequences of these developments taking place, with various territories declaring independence, would be extremely tough for Spain."

    Solano said the Catalonians would have liked to see Scotland vote to become independent, but were not overly disappointed by the result because an important precedent had been established, namely the right of the people to choose their own future. 55 percent of Scots who voted in an independence referendum that took place last month voted to remain part of the UK.

    "The referendum in Scotland proved that the people there, regardless of the result, are sovereign. They were able to decide their future. From the Catalonian perspective the Scots have said "no", but that was their will. It is a very different position in Catalonia," Solano told RIA Novosti.

    "It is the precedent of allowing the referendum to go ahead at all that is the significant element from the Catalonian perspective," Solano added. "It is that same right to choose our future that the Catalonians are trying to achieve which is why we have seen these massive demonstrations taking place in Catalonia asking for the right to decide our future."

    The political adviser told RIA Novosti that a speech made by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in Downing Street the day after the Scottish independence referendum was broadcast in Catalonia, but perhaps not on all broadcasters because of political reasons.

    "The UK Prime Minister"s speech the day after the Scottish Independence referendum was held was broadcast in Catalonia, but perhaps not on all broadcasters," Solano said.

    "The reason for that was that Cameron explained very well what the situation was, that firstly, as Prime Minister, he could have blocked the referendum if he had wanted to, but that was not the right thing to do because he had to show he was a democrat. He said that allowing the referendum to go ahead was the right thing to give a voice and choice to the people of Scotland.

    "The consequences for the Spanish state of allowing a referendum to take place in Catalonia are much tougher and that is why we have seen them take a much more robust position, because the very future of Spain is at risk," Solano told RIA Novosti.

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    independence, Catalonia, Spain
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