Barroso’s answer to Mas: Catalonia’s referendum on independence is a Spanish debate

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20 days is how long Catalonia’s President Artur Mas had to wait to get an answer from Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso. Earlier in December, Mas sent Barroso a letter seeking his support for the Spanish region to hold a referendum on independence next November.

But once again Brussels refused to comment on what they see as a ‘political internal matter’, adding that the Commission has no powers to judge the situation.

Last month, Mas sent letters to all 26 EU leaders and other international powers, urging them to encourage a vote that the centre-right Spanish government says would breach the Spanish constitution.

In a letter to German chancellor Angela Merkel, Mas wrote: “Contrary to some reports, there are a number of legal and constitutional options which allow this referendum to take place in Catalonia”.

Opinion polls have shown mixed support for independence, with some recently showing only 35 per cent would vote for a full split from Spain. But polls have shown a majority of Catalans want the right to decide and believe that Spanish President Mariano Rajoy should authorise a vote.

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