This weekend, Catalonia’s long-running push for independence from Spain could get a boost if separatists manage to secure an absolute parliamentary majority in regional elections. Here’s a brief summary via FT for those unfamiliar:
If the independence movement has its way, the Catalan regional election on Sunday will bring [the independence process] to a dramatic climax. Should the pro-secession parties gain an absolute majority in parliament, they will press ahead with a plan to separate the prosperous region from the rest of Spain within 18 months.
Both the pro- and anti-independence sides look to Barcelona as the crucial battleground. Global tourist magnet, former Olympic host city and all-round architectural jewel, the city has traditionally been seen as an uphill climb for the independence campaign. Supporters of the union with Spain expect Barcelona and its densely populated suburbs to act as their main line of defence against the secessionist onslaught.
“What happens to Catalonia on September 27 will not depend on the independentistas. It will depend on the men and women in the metropolitan area of Barcelona who are not independentistas, and who traditionally don’t vote in the regional elections. If they vote this time, no one will be able to break Catalonia away from the rest of Spain,” Xavier García Albiol, the leader of the conservative Popular party in Catalonia, said this week.
As for how likely it is that CDC and ERC will be able to secure the 68 seats they need to move forward with independence, Citi thinks they'll ultimately come up short, but as the following graphs show, it's a close call:
Against that backdrop, we present the following with no further comment other than to ask if perhaps the Bank of Spain knows something everyone else doesn't and is preparing for every contingency.
Via VilaWeb (Google translated):
This afternoon held an unusual movement in the branch of the Bank of Spain, Barcelona, ??Catalonia Square. Over thirty armored vans were entering and leaving the building shortly after an unknown direction. Many people have the photographed. The Bank of Spain has refused to comment on the operation or indicate that it was but people working in the area have said that is not a normal deployment.
Several readers VilaWeb explained that Monday early morning was a similar deployment.