‘Cercle d’Economia’ call for a “legal and agreed” consultation if pro-independence forces win 27-S elections

The ‘Cercle d'Economia’, a Catalan economic forum open to businesspeople and academics, are in favour of a “legal and agreed” consultation if pro-independence groups have “clear” support in the 27-S elections. The forum, which is against a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (‘DUI’ in Catalan), stated that allowing the consultation is a “democratic principle” inherent in the Spanish Constitution. The Cercle d'Economia presented its views in an opinion piece which had to be redrafted since the first draft presented on Monday by the president of the organisation, Anton Costas, created differences between board members.

XXXI 'Cercle d'Economia' meeting, in May 2015 (by ACN)
XXXI 'Cercle d'Economia' meeting, in May 2015 (by ACN) / ACN / Shobha Prabhu-Naik

ACN / Shobha Prabhu-Naik

September 16, 2015 06:48 PM

Barcelona (CNA).- If pro-independence groups have “clear” support in the 27-S elections, Spanish authorities will have to allow a “legal and agreed” consultation in Catalonia. This statement was made by the Cercle d'Economia, a Catalan economic forum open to businesspeople and academics. The association is against a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (‘DUI’ in Catalan) and admits to be worried about the possible consequences of a DUI for “the economy, investments and companies’ presence in Catalonia”. However, they are convinced that the aspiration of the majority of Catalans to have better self-government “fits within” Catalonia’s legal framework and follows “the democratic principle” inherent in the Spanish Constitution. 

The organisation’s opinion column, entitled 'Després de les eleccions del 27-S: Diàleg, Acord i Reforma' ('After the 27-S elections: Dialogue, Agreement and Reform'), states that if the political forces that are for independence obtain an absolute majority in the 27-S elections, they will “legitimately govern” and will have accumulated “political force” in defence of their choice. However, El Cercle also warned that any structural change such as independence requires a qualified majority that can “never be deduced from elections such as these”, but rather from the “legitimacy of a legal consultation, agreed and well-informed”.

El Cercle reiterated that it is against “unilateral decisions that could jeopardise the principle of legality and relevance of the European institutions and the euro”. It also showed its “concern” about the consequences that a DUI could have on “the economy, finance, investment and the presence of its businesses in Catalonia”.

A “new window of opportunity”

The organisation, made up of entrepreneurs, executives, professionals, academics and politicians, believes that the forthcoming Catalan and Spanish elections, scheduled for the 27th of September and on or before the 20th of December respectively, open a “new window of opportunity” for dialogue and reform. In this regard, they see reconciliation between “the principle of legality of the rule of law and the democratic principle” as a priority objective.

Thus, they highlighted that the first “forces rules to be respected and, if necessary, changed through the established procedures” but that at the same time, the democratic principle also written in the Constitution leads public authorities “to find appropriate legal avenues to channel the aspirations for change that exist in society”.

Moreover, the organisation stressed that, in the case that the election results of the 27-S see a parliamentary majority for those forces who are against independence, no one could interpret this as Catalan society being in “favour of the status quo” and assume that it is unnecessary to change anything since “a large majority in Catalonia desires to obtain better self-rule, a change in the financial model and political recognition of their character”, they said.

27-S divides the board of the Cercle d'Economia

The opinion piece finally won the approval of all board members after being modified. The president of the organisation, Anton Costas, presented a proposed article on Monday that caused disagreement within the board. The initial text drafted by Costas and released in the newspaper, ‘La Vanguardia’, was entitled 'Davant les pròximes eleccions del 27-S: en defensa de la dignitat de la política' ('Facing the forthcoming 27-S elections: In defence of the dignity of politics’).

As reported by the newspaper, a section of the board, headed by Vice President Artur Carulla, opposed Costas’ text because it did not want to support a document that might seem critical of the sovereignty process or of the pro-independence unitary list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ (‘Together for Yes’).