PP’s reform of the Constitutional Court is a threat “to the rule of law”, warns Mas
The Catalan President, Artur Mas, recognised that he is the target of the law reform that the conservative People’s Party (PP) announced on Tuesday, which he described as a threat to the rule of law. The project aims at the Court being able to suspend or fine politicians who disobey Constitutional Court rulings. According to the PP, it is unconstitutional to ask Catalans if they want to separate from Spain, let alone to declare independence. Mas stated that the PP “wants to destroy the rule of law” with this decision that he regarded as an old-fashioned way of doing politics more proper of “the Inquisition” than of a democratic country. President Mas will appear before the Parliament this afternoon to defend his decision to call elections on the 27th of September. The Catalan President will answer questions from members of parliament about the poll, which pro-independence groups consider as a ‘de facto’ referendum on independence. The PP has also warned that it will ask Mas about the Spanish Guardia Civil search that took place last week in the headquarters of his party CDC and the President’s party Foundation CatDem.
Girona (CNA).- The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, stated that the conservative People’s Party Spanish Constitutional Court’s (TC) reform announced on Tuesday will “destroy the rule of law”. The reform aims at the Court being able to suspend or fine politicians who disobey Constitutional Court rulings. Mas thinks that he is the target of the PP’s proposal and regards the reform as an “echo of the Inquisition”.
He said that the initiative reminded him of the “reactions from the thirties” and “is not proper of a democratic country”. President Mas will appear before Parliament this afternoon to defend his decision to call elections for the 27th of September. The Catalan President will answer questions from members of parliament about the poll, which pro-independence groups consider a ‘de facto’ referendum on independence. Although it is not the topic under discussion, some MPs might also raise the issue of alleged corruption within CDC. The Spanish Guardia Civil carried out a search last week of both the headquarters of the Catalan President party and those of its foundation, CatDem.
Artur Mas referred to the PP’s decision of modifying the TC Law in order to suspend those politicians who ignore the Spanish Court’s resolutions at a dinner with Catalan employers’ associations. During the meeting, he also stated that “not all Catalan managers and business owners are against the independence process” and asked for people “not to generalise”. He also thanked all those companies and entrepreneurs who openly support independence.
The Catalan President assessed the PP’s reform as an “absurd” decision and warned that the Spanish government might show similar attitudes in the following days. “They want to turn the TC into a court that can do whatever it wishes and freely destroy politicians who were elected democratically”, he regretted. The reform, announced on Monday by the PP’s candidate in the upcoming Catalan elections, Xavier García Albiol, wants to ensure that the TC’s rulings are adhered to by all civil servants and politicians. García Albiol admitted that the plan was especially designed to stop President Mas’ push for independence, as politicians and authorities who ignore rulings may face fines and even suspension from office.
Gratitude to entrepreneurs
One of the main Catalan employers’ associations, Foment del Treball, said on Tuesday that the Catalan situation “generates doubts” for entrepreneurs and employers. Foment del Treball argued that the 27-S election is creating “big tension and concerns” amongst businesspeople and denied its plebiscitary character. Foment asked the Catalan Government “to work for all citizens and to do it in a legal and stable environment’.
But the opinion of this employers’ association is not the only one. Several other business groups have shown support for the right of the Catalan people to decide, such as the associations of small and medium enterprises PIMEC and CECOT. Mas showed them his gratitude at the dinner in Girona on Tuesday and highlighted that 25 associations and entrepreneurs gave their support to the independence process and defended Catalans’ right to vote in a joint document signed in 2014.
Reaction to Felipe González’s letter
At the dinner held with entrepreneurs, President Mas also referred to the open letter by former Spanish President, Felipe González, published on Sunday in the El País newspaper. In that letter, González compared the Catalan situation with that of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Mas replied to the letter saying that Catalonia gave full support when Felipe González became President. He also reminded those present that González was once a “democrat” and said that he has totally changed his behaviour. Mas also pointed out that González said in his letter that after the 27-S elections nothing would change, which he felt was a “strongly undemocratic” statement.