Catalan elite, angry with the sentence, reivindicate the Statute of Autonomy approved in the referendum
President Montilla disagrees with the sentence but accepts it. However, he states that he is ?infuriated? with the sentence and asks for a citizen demonstration and a reflected political reaction. The Spanish Government flags the sentence as a victory.
Barcelona (CNA).- This evening’s sentence on the Catalan Statute of Autonomy dictated by the Spanish Constitutional Court has been received as a meteorite by the Catalan political, social, economic and cultural elite, from almost all political colours. The President of the Catalan Government, José Montilla, announces via an institutional declaration that Catalonia will not give up its aspirations. “We are a nation” he states. Artur Mas, leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Party (CiU) and opposition leader in Catalonia, considers the sentence as a severe change in the Spanish Constitutional agreement of 1978. Both leaders, Montilla and Mas agree to create an urgent commission of recognised legal experts to analyse how exactly the sentence will affect the current Statute of Autonomy. Besides, Spanish Vice President María Teresa Fernández De la Vega stresses that the Constitutional Court has only eliminated 14 of the 113 articles that the People’s Party (PP) had appealed before the Court. The leader of the PP in Catalonia, Alícia Sánchez Camacho, affirms that now, with the modified Statute of Autonomy, all Catalans can feel this text as theirs. Reactions from Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) and Catalan Eco-Socialist Party (ICV) have also been of great disappointment and they have asked for a reaction from Catalan citizens. Many Catalan civil society organisations have also reacted against the sentence.
The President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Catalan Socialist Party, José Montilla, has asked the citizenry to participate, united, as a single people, in the demonstration announced by civil society organisations against the sentence. President Montilla has also announced that he has talked to Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and he has informed him about the deep disappointment experienced in Catalonia. Montilla has also announced he will consult the rest of the political parties on the next steps, address the Catalan Parliament within the next few days and put to work an expert commission that will have to urgently analyse all of the effects of the sentence on the Catalan main law.
The President of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Party (CiU) and opposition leader in Catalonia, Artur Mas, has stated that with this sentence, the agreement reached after Franco’s death with the new constitution in 1978 has been broken. He sees the sentence as clearly negative for Catalonia’s interests and unacceptable. He blames the situation on both the PP and the PSOE.
The leader of the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC), Joan Puigcercós, considers that this sentence will provoke an increase in the number of Catalan independence supporters. The leader of the Catalan Eco-Socialist Party (ICV) has stressed that Catalan citizens, political parties and civic society have to react united.
The PP’s leader in Catalonia, Alícia Sánchez Camacho, has affirmed that now the Statute is really “the Statute of all Catalans”, as opposed to what it was earlier according to her. The PP, the second party in the whole of Spain, represents a minority in Catalonia, having only 15 of the 135 Members of the Catalan Parliament. The leader of the marginal and populist Anti-Catalan Nationalism Party (Ciutadans), Albert Rivera, has affirmed that the Catalan President is acting like a “hooligan” and needs to calm down.
Many civil society organisations have also reacted against the sentence. Many of them have announced further declarations tomorrow as well as demonstrations in the coming days.
The Spanish Government and the PP both celebrate the sentence as a victory
According to the Spanish Government, the sentence on the Catalan Statute of Autonomy is a victory against the appeal of the PP. The Spanish Vice President, María Teresa Fernández De la Vega, flags this as a victory where “only” 14 articles have been eliminated and 27 have been reinterpreted. According to De la Vega, the sentence has made clear that the PP’s appeal was disproportionate as most of the Catalan Statute is fully constitutional.
The People’s Party (PP) has underlined the sentence as a victory of their party, stating that the Constitutional Court has modified or eliminated 44 articles.