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Pro-independence parties agree on generic road map to build a new state if they win September elections

The political parties and the main civil society organisations that support Catalonia's independence from Spain have agreed that the Catalan Parliament will issue a formal declaration to start building a new state and launch a constituent process, which would be put to a citizen vote at a later stage, if they obtain a parliamentary majority in the September elections. They have been holding a series of talks over the past few weeks in order to agree on a road map that sets out the steps to follow in case pro-independence parties obtain an absolute majority in the next Catalan Parliament elections. These elections have been called early and are being presented as a 'de facto' referendum on independence by the parties supporting this option, since they are the only way to hold a legal vote on this issue after years of the Spanish Government's unilateral blocking attitude.

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13 March 2015 11:27 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- A majority of political parties and civil society organisations that support Catalonia's independence from Spain have agreed that the Catalan Parliament will issue a formal declaration to start building a new state and launch a constituent process, which would be put to a citizen vote at a later stage, if they obtain a parliamentary majority in the September elections. They have been holding a series of talks over the past few weeks in order to agree on a road map that sets out the steps to follow in case pro-independence parties obtain an absolute majority in the next Catalan Parliament elections. These elections have been called early and are being presented as a 'de facto' referendum on independence by the parties supporting this option, since they are the only way to hold a legal vote on this issue after years of the Spanish Government's unilateral blocking attitude. The wording of the road map is quite generic in order to allow other parties that support independence or that do not oppose it if a majority of Catalans vote for it to join it.


CDC, the Liberal and largest force within the two-party centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU (currently running the Catalan Government); the left-wing Catalan independence party ERC; the post-communist coalition EUiA – which is the Catalan branch of the Spanish Izquierda Unida; the Social-Democrat and pro-self-determination party MES – which is a recent splinter of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC); the Association of pro-Independence Municipalities (AMI) – which groups together hundreds of town halls throughout Catalonia; the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) – which is the main grassroots civil society organisation supporting independence; and, Omnium Cultural – which is a popular civil society association promoting Catalan culture that was founded during Franco's dictatorship – have finally reached an agreement on a shared road map to build a new state if citizens vote for it in September.

Three other parties that were initially in the agreement of December 2013 to organise a self-determination vote have not joined the final agreement since they did not participate in the last rounds of talks. They are: the Christian-Democrat force within the governing CiU, the UDC – which does not have an official stance on independence yet, since its leader is against it but many of its members and voters are in favour; the Green Socialist party ICV – which decided 10 days ago, after two years of ambiguity, it would not yet support independence since they believe Spain can still be transformed into a true pluri-national and federal state; and the alternative left and radical independence party CUP, which refused to participate in the round of talks as they would immediately declare independence if citizens vote for it in September. The UDC and ICV, despite not officially supporting independence, would not oppose it if a majority of Catalans voted for it. However, they consider next September’s elections not to be a 'de facto' plebiscite on this issue and that a proper referendum should be held (for which the Spanish Government's authorisation is needed).

The road map approved this Friday is quite generic in order to facilitate agreement among pro-independence forces and to add further support. The document highlights that next 27 September’s elections should be "the legal mechanism to know the Catalan people's will about their political future". The road map sets out the steps to follow in case pro-independence parties obtain a parliamentary majority.

The plan foresees 4 main steps:

  1. Formal declaration of the Catalan Parliament stating that it launches the process to build "a new state or Catalan Republic";
  2. Launching a constituent process, without specifying when the new Constitution should be ready and how it should be approved;
  3. Developing the mechanisms ensuring the national transition, particularly main state structures such as a Catalan Tax Administration and a Social Security System, among others; and
  4. "The democratic culmination of the process by the people of Catalonia", without specifying if it would be through a referendum or through new parliamentary elections.

The road map includes some ambiguous formulations in order to ensure the widest possible support. It also does not specify a time frame for the undertaking of these measures nor whether there would be formal negotiations with the Spanish Government.

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  • Catalan President and CDC leader, Artur Mas (left), and ERC leader, Oriol Junqueras (right), shaking hands after reaching an agreement to call early elections (by ACN)

  • Catalan President and CDC leader, Artur Mas (left), and ERC leader, Oriol Junqueras (right), shaking hands after reaching an agreement to call early elections (by ACN)