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Opposition rejects decision to close Catalan Parliament until October

Ciutadans accuse pro-independence majority of trying to “silence” them, while Socialists call the delay “nonsense”

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24 July 2018 06:17 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The decision by the parliament bureau to delay the first plenary session after the summer break until October has not gone down well with the opposition parties in the chamber. On Tuesday, the bureau’s pro-independence majority agreed that the first session would begin on October 2 despite Parliament’s summer recess officially ending at the end of August.

“The separatists have decided to close Parliament until October, to silence the opposition for as long as they see fit,” was the response of the Ciutadans (Cs) party leader, Inés Arrimadas. A proposal on social cohesion and policy put forward by her party was postponed last week and will now have to wait until October 10 and 11 before it can be debated.

Arrimadas also accused the pro-independence majority of closing down Parliament “to avoid having to comply with the judicial ruling.” The Cs leader was referring to the ruling by Spain’s Supreme Court ordering Parliament to suspend those Catalan MPs who are being prosecuted for their part in last year’s independence referendum and declaration.   

PSC: “We need to get the institutions underway”

The Catalan Socialists (PSC) called the decision to delay the opening of Parliament “nonsense.” PSC party spokeswoman, Eva Granados, said "the institutions need to get underway,” calling on the bureau to reconsider, and asking that the plenary sessions canceled last week be rescheduled before the end of July, or in September at the latest.

Also referring to the challenge of complying with the Supreme Court’s ruling to suspend the MPs facing prosecution, Granados admitted it is “obvious that there is no reason to rush the plenary session if there is no agreement.” However, the spokeswoman added that “what makes no sense is postponing any possible agreement until October.”

CatECP wanted September session

As for the CatECP party, aligned with neither the pro-independence or unionist camps, its  spokeswoman, Elisenda Alamany, warned that Parliament had in effect been “blocked” by the lack of agreement between the JxCat and ERC pro-independence parties, and she argued for holding the first plenary session after the holidays in September.

Yet, the spokeswoman also said CatECP had put no “obstacle” in the way of delaying the session until October, and had decided to go along with the decision given the lack of “legal certainty” in the chamber concerning the suspension of the MPs. Nevertheless, Alamany warned that the Parliament “could not remain closed for very long.”  

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  • Leader of the opposition Inés Arrimadas (by ACN)

  • Leader of the opposition Inés Arrimadas (by ACN)