People in the Spanish region of Catalonia go to the voting booths again today with the whole of Europe watching to see whether they will vote for secession from Spain or not.
If the polls of the largest Spanish (and thus pro-Spain) newspaper El Pais are to be believed, the pro-independence party Republican Left of Catalonia will win (ERC), just ahead of Ciudadanos (Cs), a liberal party focused on unifying with Spain.
The JxCat party of Catalan President Carles Puigdemont , who fled to Belgium, would come in third. If that outcome is correct, it would mean Mr Puigdemont would not have an overall majority anymore (he normally rules together with ERC). Should Mr Puigdemont decide to come back to Spain, he faces an arrest warrant for treason to the state
Of course, this snap election was only put in place because separatists who dominated the Catalan parliament declared independence on 27 October following a controversial referendum at the beginning of the month described as illegal by Madrid. In scenes that were reminiscent of South American dictatorships, Spanish police could be seen at the time violently suppressing the vote and stealing ballot boxes.
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Human Rights Watch <a href="https://twitter.com/hrw?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@hrw</a> places "Spanish police engaged in excessive force in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Catalonia?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Catalonia</a>" 2nd on their Top 10 of Human Rights News 2017.<br>Let's not forget what happened on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/1O?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#1O</a> when voting on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/21D?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#21D</a> <br>➡️ <a href="https://t.co/b2nfXMNnsK">https://t.co/b2nfXMNnsK</a> <a href="https://t.co/fYCz4gz65r">pic.twitter.com/fYCz4gz65r</a></p>— Helle Kettner (@HelleKettner) <a href="https://twitter.com/HelleKettner/status/943146353265463297?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 19, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Some younger voters, who have seen with astonishment the many companies that have moved out of Catalonia in the past two months due to the political uncertainty, said that they weren’t sure what to vote this time yet.
Miss Assumpta Corell 21-year-old university student from Castelldefels said she wasn’t sure yet, but would probably vote for the centrist, pro-unity party Ciudadanos: "I think many positions have become very extreme.”
"People who have one opinion will maintain it, people who have a different opinion will continue thinking differently, which is great, but the problem comes when politics plays at dividing people even more."