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Independence-hungry Scottish nationalist leader sends support to Catalonia

The pro-independence government of Catalonia plans to hold a vote on October 1, despite Spain’s Constitutional Court saying it would be illegal. The Economist magazine.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has expressed her solidarity with Catalans fighting for their right to hold an independence referendum, sharing her concern over Spain’s attempts to stop it.

Speaking during First Minister’s Questions, Sturgeon said she is concerned by reports of Spanish police confiscating ballot papers and raiding newspaper offices. She said the 2014 Scottish independence referendum was the best example for Catalonia to follow.

 

 

“I hope that there will be a dialogue between the Catalan and Spanish governments to try and resolve the situation. That has got to be preferable to the sight of police officers seizing ballot papers and entering newspaper offices,” Sturgeon said.

“It is of course entirely legitimate for Spain to oppose independence for Catalonia. But what I think is of concern anywhere is for a state to seek to deny the right of a people to democratically express their will.

“The right of self-determination is an important international principle and I hope very much that it will be respected in Catalonia and everywhere else.”

Sturgeon said the Edinburgh Agreement, drawn up by the Scottish and UK governments before the 2014 independence referendum in Scotland, could act as a template for others.

“The Edinburgh Agreement is a shining example of two governments with diametrically opposed views on independence nevertheless coming together to agree a process that allowed the people to decide. I think that offers a template that can be used by others elsewhere in the world.”

Pro-independence parties who control the Catalan parliament pushed through the referendum law earlier this month after years of unsuccessfully demanding the right to hold a free vote on self-determination.

 

 

Catalonia, a wealthy region of 7.5 million people in north-eastern Spain which has Barcelona as its capital, has its own language and culture but is not recognized as a separate nation by the Spanish state.

In November 2014, a non-binding vote on independence for Catalonia showed 80 percent of people were in favor. A public survey commissioned by the Catalan government in July suggested 49 percent of Catalans oppose independence, while 41 percent are in favor.

Post dated September 22, 2017

 

 

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India's River Diversion Plan and South Asia's Waters

More dams are to come, as India’s need to power its economy means it is quietly spending billions on hydropower in Kashmir. The Senate report totted up 33 hydro projects in the border area with Pakistan. The state’s chief minister, Omar Abdullah, says dams will add an extra 3,000MW to the grid in the next eight years alone. Some analysts in Srinagar talk of over 60 dam projects, large and small, now on the books. (This special report has appeared in the Bulletin on Current Affairs - February 2012, you may have to Buy the print edition to read full story)

More in the Edition:

South Asia's Water - a growing rivalry

Indian, Pakistani & Chinese Border Disputes

India's River Diversion Plan: Its impact on Bangladesh

Water Crisis can Trigger nuclear war in South Asia

Reclaimed Water - the Western Experience

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