Separatists in Catalonia

The results of a recent opinion poll show that 42% of Catalans want Catalonia to be an independent state. A similar poll carried out 7 years ago showed that 30% of Catalans supported the idea of independence. However, experts point out that it is one thing to support independence in an opinion poll but this does not necessarily mean that people would vote for independence in a referendum.

Furthermore, the results of the poll also show that 35% of PSC voters wanted Catalonia to be independent from Spain while 60% of CIU voters supported the idea of independence. The poll showed that 30% of those questioned support a federal model while only 33% said that they were satisfied with the current system of autonomous regions.

Another clear result of the poll shows that most people would prefer Catalan to be the official language – something which is rejected by the Constitutional Court – 47% of those questioned said that they used Catalan as their first language compared to 34% who said that they used Spanish.

In fact according to the results of the poll linguistic differences are one of the biggest problems for people living in Catalonia together with unemployment – 70% of those questioned were worried about the unemployment rate compared to just 20% 4 years ago. Immigration is the second biggest worry for Catalans – in 2006 it occupied first place. However, nearly everybody rejected the idea of using immigration to try and win votes.

The poll also shows that Pope Benedict XVI did not win over many converts during his visit to Catalonia as a result of his declarations on secularism in Spain, abortion, women and gay marriages.