MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - Thousands of people are expected to gather in Barcelona to demonstrate in support of Catalan independence Thursday, a week before Scotland votes on whether to break away from the United Kingdom.
More than 53 demonstrations mark the anniversary of Catalonia's 1714 defeat in the War of Spanish Succession, which the region celebrates every year on September 11. Pro-Independence political parties hope to use it to boost a self-determination referendum for next November 9.
"My commitment to calling the referendum, once the Parliament of Catalonia has approved the legal means by which to hold it, remains firm. We have come this far with a political majority which, from the great ideological diversity that we have in Catalonia, has made all the necessary decisions to get us to where we are today. I hope that this consensus will not only remain strong and unbroken, but will become even larger in order to continue responding to the aspirations and the will of the majority of our society," Artur Mas, president of the Catalan Government said in a statement a day before the celebration.
New wave of secessionist tendencies in Catalonia started following the publication of polls suggesting that "Yes, Scotland" campaign has finally gained the majority of votes ahead of the referendum on independence.
September 19, right after the referendum in Scotland, the Catalan parliament will debate, and likely pass, a regional consultation in order to try and make the November vote legal in the face of firm opposition of Madrid, where the national government is preparing an appeal to Spain's Constitutional Court to annul the Catalan referendum law.
The situation in Scotland is also being watched closely by Corsicans who want to separate from France, secessionists in Veneto (Italy) and Flemish speakers in Belgium demanding more autonomy, independence or union with the Netherlands.
According to the results of the YouGov latest opinion poll, Scottish Yes side showed an eight point swing in less than a month. 47 percent of respondents would rather vote for Yes, 45 percent would rather vote for No, with the rest undecided.
2014 saw the rise of nationalist tendencies and the advent of right-wing parties all across Europe, mostly manifest in such countries as Britain, France, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Austria and the Netherlands. In traditionally secessionist regions, such as Scotland in the UK or Catalonia in Spain, these tendencies were fueled by the economic crisis in Europe, as the regions turned out to recover faster than the rest of the countries, according to the findings of the Round Table of the 25th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe "Regionalization and Devolution in Europe in a context of economic crisis".