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Re-application of Article 155 threatened in case of pro-independence election victory

If law not completed after December 21 snap elections, Spanish government will "do same again" said vice-president of Spanish senate

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31 October 2017 02:22 PM

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ACN | Madrid

If a pro-indepedence government emerges as victorious from the December 21 forced elections in Catalonia, Article 155 could be re-applied, said the Spanish Senate’s vice-president in an interview on Monday with 'La Razón'.

“If it does not abide by the law, it will be required to do so, and we will do the same again,” said Pedro Sanz, threatening the re-application of Article 155 in the event that a pro-independence government wins the December elections, called by Spanish president Mariano Rajoy in response to Catalonia’s declaration of independence last Friday.

The "cohesion" of Spain

The vice-president of the Spanish Senate, who was also president of La Rioja from 1995 to 2015, believes that all autonomous communities should “contribute” to the “cohesion” of Spain “and not only look out for themselves.”

When asked what he thought had led Catalonia to declare independence, Sanz responded by saying that everyone should reflect on what has been done wrong and what will be necessary to “take care” of in the future.

Autonomous communities

“I think that Spain has grown a lot,” he said, “and has benefited from being an ‘Autonomic State’ which serves to enable communities to grow and maintain their identities and cultures.” He added that these communities should not forget the role they play in the “collaboration, solidarity and construction of the State.”

He stated that this had been achieved by the “autonomic pact” between the People’s Party and PSOE which, when it was necessary to draft a statute, “agreed on how far they could go.” In his opinion, he said, this “guaranteed cohesion, the search for equality, and the avoidance of privileges,” by “preventing” communities from “acting entirely on their own.”

This was broken, he said “at a given moment, and more so when (ex-president of Spain) Zapatero said he would accept what the Catalan Parliament decided.” From that point, Sanz believes, these communities began to reform the statute themselves.

“We need to learn to go back to that consensus and the search for a pact that will allow for more cohesion and less division,” he added.  

Pro-independence support increases

Support for an independent Catalan state has soared since the October 1 referendum, according to a poll carried out by the Catalan Centre of Opinion Studies. People in favour now stand at 48.7% while those against at 46.3%. In June, a poll revealed that 41.1% were in favour of independence, and 49.4% were against.

Pro-independence parties would also win the elections again with Together for Yes winning 60 to 63 seats, and the far-left CUP winning between 8 and 9, the poll showed. 68 seats are needed to make a parliamentary majority.

Anti-independence parties would fail to win a majority in the elections if the poll proves to be correct. The unionist Ciutadans party would win 25 to 26 seats, the Socialists 17 to 19, with the People's Party coming in last with 10 to 11 seats. 

The coalition CQSP (Catalonia Yes it Can), whose stance on independence is ambiguous even though they are in favour of an agreed referendum, would win between 12 and 14 seats.

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  • Spain's president Mariano Rajoy entering the Spanish Senate on October 27 to debate the future of Catalonia (by ACN)