Catalonia moves closer to independence referendum

Catalonia moves closer to independence referendum

While it doesn’t seem to be quite as dramatic as some headlines are suggesting, Catalonian separatists have taken a major step toward a potential split from Spain: 

The non-binding and largely symbolic resolution – which states that the people of Catalonia have a democratic right to decide on their sovereignty – was passed with 85 votes for, 41 against and two abstentions in the 135-seat legislature. Two deputies were absent and five refused to vote.

The resolution was softened somewhat to appease several parties, removing a reference to a "new state" but it does seem to open the door toward a referendum on independence — a move that the Spanish government argues would be unconstitutional. 

It also seems significant that the resolution was jointly presented by the ruling Convergence and Union party and the opposition Republican Left Party. While both are separatist parties, they stand on opposite sides of the political spectrum on other issues and many had questioned whether they’d be able to work together.