A Grand Prix of Catalunya?

The regional parliament of Catalunya has just approved a new law that will give the region even greater autonomy. The ruling coalition is in effect asking for sovereignty, additional tax-raising powers, direct Catalan representation at EU level, Catalan representation in international sporting competitions and obligatory knowledge of Catalan language for all people living in the region. While, in theory at least, this leaves the region as a part of Spain, it is virtually independence in all but name. The vote was passed by 120 votes to 15 but the plan must still be approved by the Spanish national parliament in Madrid. The Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero says that he will support the new law, although there is expected to be some lively opposition to the idea as it will encourage other regions (notably the Basques) to push for more independence.

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