From MISH'S Global Economic Trend Analysis http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/11/constitutional-crisis-in-spain-pro.html Spain takes a giant step towards a full-blown constitutional crisis as Catalans overwhelmingly elect candidates promising a break-up vote. Catalonia has delivered a sweeping mandate to political parties pledging to hold a referendum on independence in elections that place the northern Spanish region on a collision course with Madrid. In a vote billed as âthe most decisive elections in the history of Cataloniaâ by Artur Mas, the regionâs president, pro-referendum parties won 87 of the Catalan parliamentâs 135 seats. Following weeks of intense debate about Cataloniaâs future relationship with Spain, turnout was 69.5 per cent, the highest for a Catalan regional election in nearly 30 years. The vote comes amid pressure from various regions around Europe for more independence, including proposals for a referendum on the issue in Scotland in 2014. Spainâs central government has said any move to push ahead with a referendum on independence for Catalonia, which has an economy the size of Portugalâs and makes up about a fifth of Spanish output, would be illegal and against the Spanish constitution. Catalonia has built up a debt pile of â¬42bn, the largest of all of Spainâs 17 regions, and is currently locked out of international capital markets. Earlier this year the region was forced to request an emergency â¬5bn credit line from Spainâs central government to avoid defaulting on payments. Messy Politics The ruling (Center-Right) ConvergÃ¨ncia i UniÃ³ party which favors a referendum actually lost 12 seats in the election, from 62 to 50. However, it lost those seats to more radical pro-independence groups. Artur Mas, leader of ConvergÃ¨ncia promised a referendum but will have to align with even more radical groups to produce one according to CNN. Judging from the election, I suspect the percentage who would vote for independence is much higher. A showdown with Madrid looms. -------- Tired of debt and unemployment by socialist politicians, the Catatonians revolt. Good on them.