The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 10 November 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on November 10, 2014

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report



Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at or +1-202-745-4900.


Catalan Independence Vote

Catalonian independence supporters in front of Catalonia’s Parliament.

Photo: Reuters


This week’s snapshot focuses on Catalonia’s bid for independence from Spain. The rich northeastern region, home to 7.5 million people, has waged a long campaign for secession. Despite the Spanish Constitutional Court’s ruling that the referendum is illegal, separatists cast symbolic votes on 09NOV. Opponents of independence urged their followers to boycott the referendum. Local authorities released preliminary results indicating that 2.25 million Catalans participated in the poll, with 80.7% favoring independence.


News Summary of events during the week of 03NOV-09NOV

  • 03NOV: Catalan government asks top Spanish court to allow independence vote. (AFP)
  • 04NOV: Spain court blocks symbolic Catalan independence vote. (AFP)
  • 04NOV: Catalonia to go ahead with secessionist vote despite court decision. (EFE)
  • 05NOV: Catalonia leader pushes on with banned Sunday vote. (AFP)
  • 06NOV: Spanish government official warns Catalonia against using public resources in vote. (AFP)
  • 06NOV: Spanish Supreme Court rejects Catalan appeal against suspension of consultation. (XIN)
  • 07NOV: Catalan independence opponents plan to skip referendum. (AFP)
  • 08NOV: Spain’s Rajoy appeals for dialogue after Catalan vote. (REUT)
  • 08NOV: Catalan leader warns against disrupting independence vote. (AFP)
  • 09NOV: Over two million Catalans vote in the referendum, with 80.7% in favor of independence according to preliminary results. (NYT


Sample of Twitter handles regarding the Catalan independence vote


  • @laurapousLaura Pous Trull, Correspondent for Catalan News Agency (Agència Catalana de Notícies)
  • @patrickgjackson – Patrick Jackson, BBC Europe Online journalist
  • @lfrayer – Lauren Frayer, Spain and Portugal correspondent for NPR & LA Times
  • @MartiEstruch – Martí Estruch, International press officer at DiploCat (Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia)
  • @jmsardo – José Miguel Sardo, Journalist


Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the Catalan independence vote


Santiago Gonzalez-Varas, Legal scholar, University of Alicante, Spain

“Catalan claims don’t have arguments behind them, they are based purely on sentiment. But Spaniards also have a sentiment to conserve our territory.”

–       Catalonia Heads to Polls for Symbolic Vote on Independence, The Wall Street Journal, 09NOV14


Elisenda Paluzie, Economics professor, University of Barcelona  

“Catalan’s GDP is between that of Denmark and that of Finland. If [they] can survive as independent states, it’s the same for Catalonia.”

–       Catalans gear up for symbolic independence vote Sunday defying Madrid’s ban, Russia Today, 08NOV14


Michael Keating, Political scientist, University of Aberdeen, and Director, Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change

“It’s become more like a demonstration. It’ll be like another version of that big march that a million people turned out for. (…) That’s exactly what they expected. That Europe would see what was happening, and come and tell Spain, ‘you have to let this happen. But Europe doesn’t do that. They didn’t intervene in Scotland; they said, ‘It’s none of our business, it’s up to the UK.’ And they’re not going to intervene in Spain.”

–       Catalans to Hold Controversial Independence Vote This Weekend, Time, 07NOV14


José Ignacio Torreblanca, Director, Madrid office, European Council on Foreign Relations

“It still has sense [the vote]. But only as a way for the independence movement to test its own relative strength. They need to count their supporters, and this will allow them to do that. (…) It’s Kafkaesque. The independentists are going ahead with a vote that doesn’t have the meaning they want it to, and the Spanish government is turning a blind eye to something it says is illegal. It’s a sufficiently bad option for everyone, but it’s not the very worst option for anyone. So better not to call things by their real names.”

–       Catalans to Hold Controversial Independence Vote This Weekend, Time, 07NOV14


Emilio Sáenz-Francés, Professor of history and international relations, Comillas Pontifical University, Madrid

“The real problem will start on 10 November. You have a significant percentage of the population who feels that they were denied the right to vote. How do you manage this? How do you maintain the common project that is the nation of Spain? That’s the biggest challenge.”

–       Catalonia vows to hold independence vote despite latest court blow, The Guardian, 04NOV14


Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the Catalan independence vote


  1. Catalan govt asks top Spanish court to allow independence vote


Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Byline: N/A
Date: 03 November 2014

BARCELONA, Nov 03, 2014 (AFP) – The Catalan government said Monday it has petitioned Spain’s constitutional court to allow it to go ahead with this weekend’s symbolic vote on independence which has been opposed by Madrid.

“We have presented this petition to prevent the constitutional court from suspending” Sunday’s referendum, the spokesman for the Catalan government, Francesc Homs, told a news conference.

Spain’s central government on Friday launched a fresh judicial challenge by petitioning the constitutional court to block the vote.

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  1. Spain govt official warns Catalonia against using public resources in vote


Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Byline: N/A
Date: 06 November 2014

BARCELONA, Nov 06, 2014 (AFP) – A Spanish central government official on Thursday warned the wealthy region of Catalonia that it is banned from using public resources to stage a symbolic independence referendum this weekend.

Spain’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday ordered the Catalan government to suspend the planned vote but regional leader Artur Mas has vowed to press ahead with Sunday’s ballot, which will be organised by volunteers without an official electoral roll.


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  1. Catalan independence opponents plan to skip referendum


Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Byline: N/A
Date: 07 November 2014

L’HOSPITALET DE LLOBREGAT, Spain, Nov 08, 2014 (AFP) – While Catalan separatists are set for a massive turn out in a much-disputed symbolic independence referendum on Sunday, many Catalans who want the wealthy region remain a part of Spain will not take part.

“Honestly, I am going to stay home. This is a serious issue and it can’t be done in any which way. This isn’t a vote, it’s a charade,” said Juanjo Gonzalez, 47, a former journalist who now runs a jewellery shop in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Catalonia’s second biggest city.


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  1. Spain’s Rajoy appeals for dialogue after Catalan vote


Media: Reuters
Byline: N/A
Date: 08 November 2014

MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Saturday called for renewed dialogue and a “return to sanity” in Catalonia as the region prepares to hold a symbolic vote on independence that is strongly opposed by the central government.

Catalonia will stage an informal referendum on Sunday to try to gauge backing for a breakaway from Spain. Volunteers and campaigners set up polling stations in anticipation of a high turnout from pro-independence supporters.

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  1. Catalonia holds unofficial independence vote


Media: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)

Byline: N/A

Date: 09 November 2014


Madrid (dpa) – The north-eastern Spanish region of Catalonia held a non-binding ‘referendum’ Sunday on whether to separate from Spain, despite opposition from the central government in Madrid.


More than 40,000 volunteers staffed approximately 1,300 polling stations across the region of 7.6 million inhabitants. Some 5.5 million people were eligible to vote; by the afternoon, well over a million had done so, according to Catalan officials.


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