The uproar that has preceded the referendum for June 18, when Catalans will approve or reject the Estatut of Catalonia, is a monumental one, though at least it will help to boost voter turnout. A left-wing government that has just split traumatically, following the expulsion of ERC because the party refused to vote "yes" to the Estatut. A president of the Generalitat who is weaker than ever, with a minority government, that has had to reshuffle the power base of his party. Pasqual Maragall has been forced, by mathematics and the political situation, to announce early elections in autumn. But he has done so without announcing, before the referendum, whether he will stand for reelection. CiU are accusing Maragall of twisting the referendum, so that the uncertainty and scandals will threaten to turn June 18 into a vote of confidence on the president and his tripartite (currently bipartite) government. In addition to all this confusion, the polls suggest voter turnout will be low, which means that this will be a very open referendum that could turn against its promoters. The nightmare of the European constitution referendum in France may reappear.
(Article de Saül Gordillo al setmanari Catalonia Today, 18 de maig de 2006, pàgina 3.)