Poll finds lower support for Catalan independence from Spain

AP News
Posted: Jul 21, 2017 1:19 PM

MADRID (AP) — Support for independence in the prosperous Spanish region of Catalonia is waning less than three months ahead of a planned referendum, an opinion poll published Friday indicated.

The poll showed that 49.4 percent of Catalans are against seceding from Spain, up one percentage point from a March poll, while 41.4 percent want independence, down 3 percentage points. Others did not know or did not respond.

The poll by the Catalan regional government's Center for Opinion Polls was based on 1,500 face-to-face recent interviews. The margin of error was 2.53 percent.

Also Friday, the Spanish government said it will conduct weekly audits of Catalonia's public spending to ensure no taxpayer money goes to the ballot. The central government says the referendum proposed for Oct. 1 is unconstitutional and is threatening to cut off funding to Catalonia's government if the referendum goes ahead.

In response, the Catalan government accused the central government of discrimination and an attempt to bankrupt the region.

In a statement, the Catalan government accused central government in Madrid of seeking to "put at risk social services to stop us going to the polls ... and is putting Spain's unity ahead of the democratic wishes of the people."