Spain may contest referendum budget allocations
The legal services of the State Attorney are already “studying” the impugnation of the Catalan Government’s draft budget for 2017, which includes an allocation of €5.8 million to guarantee that the independence referendum scheduled for September will be carried out. The announcement was made on Wednesday by the delegate of the Spanish Government in Catalonia, Enric Millo, who stated that this part of the accounts “could be challenged” in the near future by the Spanish state. Furthermore, Millo believes that the allocation could be annulled by the Spanish Constitutional Court, which may consider it to derive from the Declaration of the 9-N symbolic vote, which has already been declared unconstitutional. The delegate of the Spanish Government in Catalonia believes that this budget “doesn’t contribute” to the relationship between the Catalan Government and the Spanish one. However, he reiterated his “outstretched hand for dialogue” and confirmed he will be meeting with the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, this Friday.
Barcelona (CNA).-The delegate of the Spanish Government in Catalonia, Enric Millo, said on Wednesday that the legal services of the State Attorney are already “studying” the Catalan Government’s draft budget presented in the Catalan Parliament on Tuesday. The accounts for 2017 foresee an allocation of €5.8 million to carry out the pro-independence referendum which the Government is committed to calling next September. According to Millo, this part of the budget “could be challenged” in the near future by the Spanish state and the Constitutional Court could end up annulling it, considering it to derive from the Declaration of the 9-N symbolic vote, which has already been found to be unconstitutional. Although Millo is convinced that this budget “doesn’t contribute” to the relations between the two executives, he said that these differences do not retract his “outstretched hand for dialogue” between the Catalan Government and the Spanish one. As evidence of his wish for dialogue, Millo recalled that his meeting with the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, this Friday is still on.
The budget draft, to be put to vote before Parliament, establishes €5 million for electoral processes and €0.8 million for participation. Moreover, the budget also anticipates the inevitable suspension of the referendum allocation by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) and includes hidden allocations so that it can be carried out anyway.
“It is bad news that the budget includes an additional provision that talks about holding a referendum that has no legal framework”, Millo said. “The appropriateness and legality of this additional provision is quite debatable, we are studying it and we will make a decision on the possible connection with the 9-N Declaration, annulled by the TC”, he added.
According to Millo, this allocation of the budget “could be impugned if it is proved to be a consequence of the 9-N”. This, however, will “not impede”, Millo clarified, “that the budget can be implemented for the parts under the power of the Catalan Government”.
The delegate made these statements shortly after coming to know that this Friday he will meet with the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, at the Palau de la Generalitat, the headquarters of the Catalan Government. Millo requested the meeting on Wednesday morning, and Puigdemont’s response was “immediate”, he said.
The differences between the Spanish and the Catalan executives regarding the budget and the possible legal showdown for the allocation to carry out the referendum do not stop this interview, Millo stressed. “The offer for dialogue remains”, he said. “Dialogue is an attitude, not an imposition or a demand, and is the true path that can lead us to solutions for the deadlock. If the president wants to sit and talk, we are on board. The budget does not contribute much, but I want to separate the two matters completely”, Millo stated.