Sept. 14th, 2017
The regional government of Catalonia has reached an agreement with the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, to allow Barcelona to participate in the Oct. 1st Referendum. While details of the negotiation are still unclear, the announcement was made by Colau this afternoon via Twitter:
Colau had remained neutral despite the Generalitat's call for mayors across Catalonia to pledge their participation in the referendum. Though Colau supports the referendum, she voiced her concerns over the risk of punishment from Madrid or participating in the vote. Facing pressure from authorities in Madrid and calls for the right to vote from demonstrators, Colau was caught in the ever-growing dispute on the referendum.
The news comes as relief for the Catalan regional government: President Puigdemont retweeted Colau shortly after, saying "good news!". Barcelona's participation in the referendum is seen by many to be critical to the referendum campaign. The Catalan capital possesses more than 20% of the entire population of Catalonia; without its support, the referendum's legitimacy would have been cast in doubt, even if it were to take place.