The result of the popular consultation on Catalan independence held yesterday in Arenys de Munt, a small town 45 km north of Barcelona, are clear: 96'3% of the people voted "Yes" to independence, while 2'28% was against it. 41% of the villagers turned out to vote in a non-official and non-binding referendum which was backed by 4 out of 5 parties in Arenys' local council.
Spain tried to ban the referendum through several court decisions, but the staging of the consultation finally went ahead. It is the first time Catalans can express their opinion on the ties with Spain. These are the two main reasons why the news has drawn the attention of most Spanish media and, most noticeably, media from over the world. Reuters and AFP agencies, as well as Le Monde (La Catalogne se mobilise pour défendre son statut d'autonomie élargie), The New York Times (Catalan Town Votes For Independence From Spain), Zeit (Katalanisches Dorf stimmt für die Unabhängigkeit) and Euronews (Catalan town votes for independence) have informed about it. Media from stateless nations have also reported on the event. The Basque diariovasco.com says El 'sí' logra un 96,19% de los votos en la consulta soberanista de Arenys de Munt, while Galician Vieiros informs that O masivo "si" de Arenys dá azos a máis consultas en Cataluña. De Standaard from Flanders reports Catalaans dorp kiest voor onafhankelijk Catalonië.
The consultation has also been backed by the seven MEP belonging to the European Free Alliance (EFA). In the meantime, German and Italian MEPs have criticized the Spanish judiciary for allowing Falange's fascist demonstration on the very same day the referendum was held. Oriol Junqueras, member of the European Parliament for ERC (Catalan Republican Left) has said in his blog that fellow European party members -Jill Evans from the Welsh Plaid Cymru, Ian Hudghton and Alyn Smith, from the Scottish National Party, Frieda Brepoels from the New Flemish Alliance, François Alfonsi from the Party of the Corsican Nation and Tatjana Zdanoka, from For Human Rights in United Latvia, and Junqueras himself-, have signed a declaration in support of the consultation.
The Catalan online journal NacióDigital has reported that Bernhard Rapkay, Manfred Weber, Niccolò Rinaldi and Michael Cramer, German and Italian MEP's from the European Socialist, Popular and Green parties have denounced Spain for allowing Spanish fascist group Falange to demonstrate in the streets of Arenys on the grounds of freedom of expression. Support of fascist and Nazi regimes in Italy and Germany are prohibited, they say.