Yesterday, December 19, President Mas (ERC) and Opposition leader Oriol Junqueras (ERC) signed a historic agreement to ensure the stability of the government, approve the budget, and hold a referendum on independence by 2014. It strangely was little reported on in the English-language international press yesterday, but today, there are several interesting articles. Here's a roundup.
Wall Street Journal: Catalonia Sets Independence Referendum
"Catalonia's nationalist leaders have said they would seek legal support in European Union or international law"
Financial Times: Catalonia referendum set for 2014 (free registration required)
"Mr Mas hailed the deal as a “call to hope” that would ensure a “future of freedom for Catalonia”. But he also warned of the political challenges ahead: “We will have many enemies, and many of them are very powerful and act without scruples.”
The American Interest: Spain on Track for Major Crisis in 2014, (also quoted in The Daily Beast) by Walter Russell Mead
"The fact that they are now uniting suggests that Catalonia is getting serious about independence."
Reuters: Catalan separatists push referendum, Madrid will try to block
"Spain signed that pact." [Ferran Requejo on UN agreement in force since 1976 that allows for self-determination]
New York Times: "Separatist Parties in Accord", by Raphael Minder
"The two main separatist parties in Catalonia signed an agreement on Wednesday to form a government, as well as allow the 7.5 million citizens of what is Spain’s most powerful economic region to vote in 2014 on whether to secede."
Russia Times (RT): Madrid threatens to block Barcelona’s ‘illegal’ independence bid [with video] [gotta love those scare quotes!]
"We aim to put the future of Catalonia in the hands of the citizens of Catalonia, and to do that we want to consult them democratically," said Junqueras."
AP (e.g. Montreal Gazette): Deputy PM says Spain has sufficient laws to halt planned Catalonian independence referendum