'Any veto on the Catalan economy would go against Spain's own interest' says MEP Tremosa

Former president Artur Mas, MEP Ramon Tremosa and Princeton political science professor Carles Boix discuss the October 1 vote in English ‘to inform Catalonia’s community of foreigners’

former president Artur Mas (by ACN)
former president Artur Mas (by ACN) / K. Schreiber / G. Jordan

K. Schreiber / G. Jordan | Barcelona

July 14, 2017 05:19 PM

Princeton professor, Carles Boix, was just one of a number of leading figures taking part in a debate, in English, on Catalonia’s referendum on Friday in Barcelona, at which he claimed the intended “flexibility of the Constitution” had been “misappropriated” by the Spanish government. According to Boix, the Constitution contains a variety of mechanisms for holding referendums, and believes that Spain’s magna carta does not allow for such votes to be false and politically motivated. Giving the example of Canada, whose Constitution does not foresee any vote on self-determination, Boix pointed out that a solution allowing Quebec to vote on its political future was nevertheless found. The professor also reminded the audience that international law neither forbids nor regulates the right to self-determination, except in some previously agreed cases in the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Ramon Tremosa, MEP in the liberal democrat ALDE group in the European Parliament, pointed out that the Catalan independence movement has been innovative in its strategy and has succeeded in a difficult aim: channelling peaceful but consistent public pressure through political parties, and communicating these major democratic concerns of citizens to the Catalan Parliament and different institutions.

In this context, he mentioned former president Artur Mas’ early perception of the need to channel this movement by calling early elections in 2012, where a majority turnout voted in favor of independence. Tremosa went on to point out that “there have been six elections in the past five years in Spain and in Catalonia, and in all of them the turnout was very high, with gains for the proindependence and proreferendum forces.” According to Tremosa, “this is what foreign politicians look at” and what “brings admiration”.