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54.9% of Catalans are in favour of continuing with the independence process, according to the latest "barometer" published this Friday by Catalonia's CEO (Centre for Opinion Studies). After the intervention in Catalan institutions via article 155 of the Spanish Constitution and the Parliament election on 21st December last year, a majority of the public is in favour of continuing the independence struggle, either by bilateral negotiations with Spain (35.9%) or moving ahead unilaterally (19%).

First: "What to do about the independence process?", L-R: unilateral, bilateral agreement, constitutional & finance reform, current model, recentralise powers. Second: "Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state?", yes = green, no = purple.

On the other hand, among those against continuing with the independence process, the majority support reform of the Spanish Constitution and the system of financing Catalonia. 20.8% of Catalans support this option. So, after the recent months of convulsive politics in Catalonia, support for the other options is very limited: only 11.7% of Catalans want to remain an autonomous community under the current model, and 2.2% want powers to be recentralised from Catalonia to Madrid.

Down six

Despite this, support for independence has dropped when presented as a yes/no binary: 40.8% of those surveyed responded in the affirmative to the question of whether they want Catalonia to be an independence state, whilst those against the proposal make up 53.8%.

With respect to the last barometer in October, those opposed to Catalan independence have increased 10.3 points, for the first time being over 50%. On the other hand, the 40.8% in favour of independence is the lower percentage reported since the barometer started to ask about the issue.

Moreover, when asked about the model they want for Catalonia, more people are in favour of Catalonia remaining an autonomous community (36.3%) than of it becoming independent (32.9%). Behind these options comes being a federal state, at 19.4%. In the previous survey, 40.2% supported becoming an independent state whilst those in favour of the autonomous community system was then at only 27.4%.

Little optimism

The political moves by Rajoy's executive in recent months leave a lack of confidence in the Spanish government when it comes to resolving the Catalan conflict.

38.8% believe it unlikely and 37.3% believe it almost impossible that Rajoy's government will end up offering an agreement which leads to an end to the situation.