Not for the first time, Madrid and Barcelona are locked in a power struggle in which each side accuses the other of anti-democratic behaviour.
Last week the Parlament de Catalunya, Catalunya’s parliament based in Ciutadella park in Barcelona, voted to hold a referendum on the controversial independence of Catalonia, to take place 1 October this year. The Spanish government in Madrid immediately declared the ballot illegal, saying that the referendum contravenes the constitution, by which Spain is indivisible.
Many Catalan mayors and ‘fonctionnaires’ nevertheless continue to make preparations for the ballot in three weeks’ time, with ballot boxes stored in secret locations in case the police try to confiscate them.
Catalonia’s government has promised that a ‘SI’ vote in the referendum will be binding, even if it is declared illegal by Spain’s constitutional court.