Picture by Xavier Pi (CNA)

The Catalan government’s main demand from the Spanish executive is to negotiate an agreed referendum on independence in Catalonia. While Pedro Sánchez’s cabinet flatly rejects it, Spanish society is not so one-sided. According to a poll published on Monday by Catalan newspaper ‘La Vanguardia’, 41.7% of Spaniards would back such a vote, while 51.5% reject it.

In Catalonia, two out of three people support a self-determination referendum (66.1%), says the poll, while 28.5% would not back such a vote.

Two out of three people surveyed in Catalonia would also back negotiating a new funding system in Spain (67.7%), and reforming the Spanish constitution (69.9%). Likewise, most Spaniards as a whole would also favor both a new funding system (53.3%) and a new Spanish constitution (68.8%).

The one thing on which Catalans and citizens of Spain as a whole fully agree is that doing nothing is not the way to find a solution to the political conflict between Catalonia and Spain. According to the poll, only 18.1% of Spaniards would do nothing, while only 10.8% of Catalans would choose sitting back and letting things run their course.

Prison and rebellion charges

The poll also looks at the independence push last year and its consequences. Some 58% of Spaniards believe there was “violence” in the events leading to the referendum and declaration of independence last autumn, and they therefore believe that charging Catalan political leaders with rebellion is correct.

So it is no surprise that 52% of Spaniards surveyed see the pre-trial detention of nine of the leaders as “proportionate” and 6 out of 10 believe they should not be pardoned if found guilty. Yet there are slightly more who say they should be home by Christmas to prepare for the trial than those who claim they should continue behind bars (48% to 45%).

Catalan society sees it differently, says ‘La Vanguardia’ poll. Almost two out of three do not believe there was violence last autumn (63%) or that the imprisonments are proportionate (64%), and an even higher number of people interviewed say the leaders should be home by Christmas (72%).