SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- The Catalan regional government’s insistence on independence from Spain may result in widespread violence in the autonomous region, says the Spanish interior minister.
“A process of these characteristics, by its very nature, generates radicalism,” Jorge Fernández Díaz told Spanish daily, ABC, on Sunday.
“This radicalization, combined with frustration, could degenerate in violence,” Díaz added, noting that the combination is “very dangerous.”
Catalonia’s President Artur Mas has pledged to pursue secession efforts following a symbolic independence referendum held on November 9.
The regional Catalan government pushed forward with the vote despite a suspension order by Spain’s Constitutional Court on November 4.
According to regional officials, more than 2.3 million people, out of a total electorate of 5.4 million, participated in the vote. More than 80 percent of the participants voted for independence.
The symbolic vote does not automatically lead to the secession of the region, but gives the Catalan president the mandate to negotiate independence with the Spanish administration.
Last Wednesday, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy described Catalonia’s vote as a “deep failure,” claiming that a real referendum cannot be held under Spain’s constitution.
Catalan officials, however, have announced that they will push for an official referendum and seek international support for it.
The wealthy northeastern region of Spain has a population of 7.6 million people, accounting for nearly one-fifth of the country’s economy, and has been seeking independence for years.
Many Catalans believe their economy would be more prosperous on its own, complaining that a high portion of their taxes goes to the central government in Madrid.