Catalonia vote: Twitter debate from a bar

Taken by Patrick Jackson on 9 November 2014
Image caption The friends were celebrating Marti's 30th birthday

A group of friends partying in a Barcelona bar agreed to let me tweet their views on Catalonia's symbolic independence vote as polling day dawned.

You can trace back the tweets in full, plus photos and comments, on my timeline but here is a sample.

Question: Does the vote matter?

Sandra Benaque: We are a democracy and we have the right to decide our future through a vote.

Marti Junyent: It matters because it shows the desire of the people to have a binding vote.

Cristian Perez: It matters mainly for the media, not the Spanish government.

Gerard Gastelu: The turnout is the most important thing. How many out of 7.5 million Catalans will vote?

Cristina Daza: It's very important to vote because the Spanish government doesn't allow us to vote.

All but two of the group are not voting. Of those voting, only one says they oppose full independence.

Oriol Coma: It's not the moment. The Catalan government is taking advantage of the economic crisis.

Image caption Sandra Benaque
Image caption Marti Junyent
Image caption Cristian Perez
Image caption Gerard Gastelu
Image caption Oriol Coma

Question: Why are you two not voting?

Cristian: I like the way it is right now. I want a different Spain but a Spain that stays together.

Albert Tregon: I am not voting because I don't exactly understand what they mean by an independent state.

Image caption Albert Tregon

Question: What have the Spanish ever done for Catalonia?

Marti: In the past they secured us quite a big market to sell our products.

Cristian: We've had democracy for 35 years thanks to Spain.

Carlos Vicente: Almost all of us here are children of Spanish immigrants. Our parents worked to build up the economy here.

Image caption Carlos Vicente

Question: How do you feel about the Spanish government's attempts to block the vote?

Carlos: When somebody tries to stop you doing something that you consider your right, it makes you feel even more determined to vote.

Albert: Only when we started talking about independence seriously did Spain start taking an interest in making us feel Spanish.

Cristian: Maybe they should have come to an agreement? It's not that difficult.

Question from @SteveMishkin: Do their parents feel the same way as them?

Marti: My parents agree with me and we will all be voting for independence.

Carlos: My parents are not going to vote and if they did vote, they would vote 'No'.

Question from @Venture_Spain: What if an independent Catalonia loses EU membership?

Carlos: I am not worried. You can stay outside the EU and still be a successful country. How about Norway?

Marti: I don't think an independent Catalonia would have to leave the EU or maybe we would have to leave for 4 or 5 years. We feel European.

Image caption Patrick Jackson
Image caption We met at a bar in Poble Nou, Barcelona