The president of the Spanish region of Catalonia in Spain looks set to strain further relations with the country’s political establishment by calling a snap vote on independence as a general election approaches in September.
Artur Mas, the president of Catalonia, told CNBC Monday that a referendum was needed to see if the majority of Catalonians still wanted independence. The region has long pushed for independence from the rest of Spain and, despite being dealt a blow when Scotland chose to remain a part of the U.K. last year, Mas is still confident an independent Catalonia would prosper.
“Catalonia would probably be comparable to Denmark. Denmark has more or less the same population, and Austria too. Both those countries are outstanding from the economic point of view and Catalonia could be at the same level,” Mas told CNBC.
“It could have an open economy, a foreign-market oriented economy (and a) cutting edge research and innovation system”, he said, speaking to CNBC on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, the “capital” of Catalonia.