C. CASTRO, BARCELONA, 26/09/2021
PHOTO ALEX GARCIA HEMICICLO, PLENARY SESSION OF THE PARLIAMENT IN HALF-LIGHT 2017/10//23
Catalan society is still divided over the effectiveness of the dialogue between governments.
The GAD3 poll for La Vanguardia also looked into the great challenge facing Catalan society: the future and the place of Catalonia in Spain. And here the survey has detected an unprecedented and surprising unanimity: more than 80% reject any unilateral action and are in favour of a negotiated agreement with the institutions of the State. Only 14% are in favour of unilaterally deciding Catalonia’s future “even if there is no agreement with the central government”.
The consensus in this respect is so broad that it reaches almost 80% of Esquerra voters and 60% of Junts voters. Only among CUP voters are there more supporters of unilateralism (59% versus 33%), while the rest of the electorate overwhelmingly supports the achievement of a negotiated agreement (over 90% among Socialist, Popular and Comúns voters).
The problem, again, arises when we get down to the details. The dialogue table, for example, continues to arouse considerable scepticism as the ideal instrument “to explore ways out of the Catalan conflict”. In fact, a slight majority of 48.5 per cent compared to 46 per cent believe that this roundtable will not serve to resolve the territorial crisis, whereas last January the correlation was the reverse. And what is striking about this scepticism is that it affects voters of all parties, regardless of their position on the sovereignty process. For example, 43% of ERC voters, 40% of PSC voters and 60% of Junts and PP voters distrust the results of the talks. Only among Comúns voters is there a robust percentage (over 70%) of citizens who judge this mechanism positively.
Support for secession falls below 40% and 48% are in favour of negotiating improvements in financing and self-government.
Moreover, 56% blame all the actors involved (the central government, Esquerra and Junts) for the difficulties the talks are having, and another 20% blame the Spanish government. Only 14% blamed Junts for the stumbling blocks encountered by this negotiating body.
From this point onwards, the preferred routes in bilateral negotiations to resolve the Catalan conflict reflect a dispersion that seems to make it even more difficult to reach a pact. While in May the improvement of the financing system stood out as the preferred route (with 36% support), the possible options now enjoy similar support: 27% are in favour of changing the financing model, another 25% for constitutional reform and 29% for a referendum on self-determination.
However, if citizens are asked what the Catalan government’s strategy should be, the preferred option is not in doubt: 48% advocate negotiating improvements in self-government and financing, and another 16% are in favour of managing the competences of the current Statute. Only 15% proposed negotiating the holding of a referendum and amnesty for prisoners, and a lower percentage, 8%, advised “approving a new DUI and proclaiming the Catalan Republic”. The latter option only has the backing of one in ten Esquerra voters and one in four Junts voters.
56% blame all the actors involved equally for the stumbling blocks at the dialogue table.
In this sense, overall support for independence has once again fallen compared to last spring. It is now below 40%, while rejection is close to 53%. And in this context, the pardoning of pro-independence prisoners is viewed positively by almost 60% of Catalan society.