3,000 organisations to send Rajoy a letter asking him not to block "the legal" self-determination vote
Catalonia's National Alliance for Self-determination, which brings together some 3,000 entities including political parties, local governments, trade unions, employer associations, Chambers of commerce and NGOs, held on Friday its 3rd meeting. The Alliance decided to send the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, a letter to ask him not to block the self-determination vote scheduled for the 9th of November, which would be organised under the Catalan legal framework. The document will highlight that the Constitutional Court stated that it did not have powers to solve issues arising from a part of Spain wanting to modify its political status and that "public powers, particularly the territorial ones" are those who have to solve it "through dialogue and cooperation". The letter will be sent in the coming days, ahead of the meeting between Rajoy and the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas. In this meeting, Mas will discuss this vote but also the institutional and social issues in Catalonia.
Barcelona (ACN).- Catalonia's National Alliance for Self-determination, which brings together some 3,000 entities including political parties, local governments, trade unions, employer associations, Chambers of commerce and NGOs, held on Friday its 3rd meeting and decided to send the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, a letter to ask him not to block the self-determination vote. The letter will insist that the vote is legal and it will use part of the statement on the topic issued in April by the Constitutional Court. This vote has been scheduled for the 9th of November following a two-third agreement from the Catalan Parliament reached in December 2013 and the mandate from November 2012 Catalan elections. Rajoy has repeated on several occasions that he is totally opposed to allowing a self-determination vote to happen in Catalonia, a procedure he considers "illegal", making a restrictive interpretation of the legal framework and the statement of the Constitutional Court. Therefore, the vote will be organised under the Catalan legal framework through the new Law on Consultation Votes. The letter will be sent before the meeting between Mas and Rajoy. The Catalan President wants to talk about the vote, but Rajoy stated this week he would not discuss this issue. In addition, the Catalan President will also discuss institutional and social issues, linked to the economic crisis, explained the Alliance's Coordinator, Joan Rigol. Furthermore, a leading NGO participating in the Alliance, Òmnium Cultural – behind the large-scale pro-independence demonstrations, stated they were willing to change the consultation vote's day in order to get the Spanish authorities' approval. In fact, the Catalan President has repeated on several occasions that he is willing to modify the question wording and the day in order to reach an agreement with the Spanish Government or at least to guarantee they will not put obstacles to the vote. However, this week Rajoy downplayed this attitude and rejected participating in "absurd" debates.
Another massive event a few days after the 11th of September demonstration
Besides, the Alliance also agreed to organise a large-scale event in the second half of September, after the massive pro-independence demonstration already scheduled in Barcelona on Catalonia's National Day, on the 11th of September. This rally will be third large-scale pro-independence demonstration organised on the Catalan National Day, after those of 2012 and 2013, which respectively gathered 1.5 million and 1.6 million people according to the Catalan Police. A few days after this 3rd rally, the 3,000 civil society organisations, private associations and public entities forming the National Alliance will organise another massive event, which is still to be defined.
The letter sent to Rajoy will use arguments from the Constitutional Court
The National Alliance's letter sent to Rajoy will highlight that Catalans have to be allowed "to legally exercise their right to be consulted" about their political future. In addition, it will emphasise that the Constitutional Court stated it did not have powers to solve issues arising from a part of Spain wanting to modify its political status (part 4.b of April's statement). Furthermore, the High Court stressed that "public powers, particularly the territorial ones that form the State" are those who have to solve such issues "through dialogue and cooperation". In Catalonia, this was interpreted as the Court telling the Spanish Government to negotiate a consensual way out. However Rajoy's Cabinet ignored this part and is not referring to it when it talks about the Court's decision on Catalonia's self-determination vote. Furthermore, Rajoy ignores that the Court also mentioned that Catalans have the right to decide on political matters, although it did not recognise the right to self-determination as such. The National Alliance's letter will be sent in the coming days, before the meeting scheduled with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas.
Catalans are willing to agree with Madrid the question and day of the vote
At the end of the Alliance's meeting, Muriel Casals, President of Òmnium Cultural – one of the civil society organisations behind the two massive pro-independence demonstrations from September 2012 and 2013 – stated that they are willing to change the day of the consultation vote if it would enable getting the green light from the Spanish Authorities. Mas has repeated several times that he is willing to modify the question wording and the day for the self-determination in order to reach an agreement with the Spanish Authorities to organise the referendum. However, Rajoy refused to even talk about the topic, which he considers "an absurd" debate. For a vast majority of Catalans, the fact of not holding a self-determination vote is non-negotiable. According to all the polls from the last 2 years, between 75% and 80% of Catalans want to hold such a vote, regardless whether they would vote for independence or against it. The same polls indicate that between 48% and 55% of the Catalan population would vote for independence, a percentage that would be higher in a referendum (taking into account those abstaining).