Residents in Catalonia vote in parliamentary elections the outcome of which could have bigger implications regarding secession. Julie Noce reports.
Polls open in Barcelona Sunday where voters will cast their ballot in a regional parliamentary election that's doubling as a theoretical referendum on Catalan secession. The region in northeastern Spain already exercises some autonomy from the central government in Madrid. After years of repression under Franco - including a ban on speaking their own language - along with the economic crisis that began in 2008, the separtist movement has grown stronger in recent years. Catalan parties supporting separation from Spain have joined together and hope to secure a majority of seats in Sunday's election. If they do, they plan to unilaterally declare independence by 2017. And opinion polls say the secessionist groups are poised to win that majority. But whether that translates into a real separation remains to be seen. Political analysts say a national election in December could put people in power in Madrid who are more willing to discuss Catalonia's demands which would help dampen the secessionist momentum.