Catalans in Cambridge speak about the independence referendum in Catalonia

Stephen Hewitt, Friday 29 September 2017

With news reports in Britain of an imminent independence referendum in Catalonia and Spanish government attempts to to suppress it, today Clarion started to ask people from Catalonia for their views.

The first person I asked was Monica, a young Catalan who has lived in Cambridge for 18 months and works in a coffee bar. She was born in Barcelona.

She said "I really hope on Sunday everyone will go to vote and vote for yes". She explained that there are two questions on the ballot paper. The first question is "Do you want Catalonia to be independent?" and the second one is "Do you want Catalonia to be part of Europe?"

She said that she hopes the answer is "yes" for both of these questions.

Unfortunately she cannot vote herself because she did not register in time. It is not possible to register through the Spanish embassy in London because the referendum is illegal, but some things can be done through the internet, she said.

In Catalonia is there any difference in views on independence between old and young? No, replied Monica. In the past her grandfather had proudly showed her coins from the period in his lifetime when Catalonia, although part of Spain, was a republic and had its own coins.

"It's kind of like Franco did", she said, speaking about the actions of the Spanish government. "In a democratic country you cannot put the politic people in prison and take all the papers".