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Centre-right pro-Catalan State Coalition CiU heals wounds after last week's dispute

On Monday, the National Executive Commission of the centre-right pro-Catalan State Coalition CiU, which is its leading committee, has explicitly referred to last week's crisis. Last Tuesday, the CiU MPs in the Spanish Parliament voted differently, showing a split within the coalition, coinciding with the two integrated parties: the Liberal and pro-independence force CDC (the largest one) on one side and the Christian-Democrat and pro-Spanish unity party UDC on the other. The CiU's Spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament and leader of the UDC, Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida, believed the CDC MPs had not obeyed his voting instructions to support the Penal Code's reform, while the Liberal MPs were insisting that the CiU group had previously agreed on abstaining. Now, the CiU leadership considers the crisis to be over and highlighted their "full support" for Duran i Lleida.

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16 February 2015 08:53 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- On Monday, the National Executive Commission of the centre-right pro-Catalan State Coalition CiU, which is its leading committee, has explicitly referred to last week's crisis. Last Tuesday, the CiU MPs in the Spanish Parliament voted differently, showing a split within the coalition, coinciding with the two integrated parties: the Liberal and pro-independence force CDC (the largest one) on one side and the Christian-Democrat and pro-Spanish unity party UDC on the other. The CiU's Spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament and leader of the UDC, Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida, believed the CDC MPs had not obeyed his voting instructions to support the Spanish Penal Code's reform, while the Liberal MPs were insisting that the CiU group had previously agreed on abstaining. Now, the coalition's leadership considers the crisis to be over and highlighted their "full support" for Duran i Lleida as the CiU's 'strong man' in Madrid. 


After days of light accusations and complaints from leading figures from both the UDC and the CDC, the CiU's top body is stressing that the crisis was due to a "misunderstanding" and not to cause an open argument. However, Catalonia's independence debate has increased the tensions within the CiU, which has run the Catalan Government since 2010. The President of the Catalan Government, CiU leader and President of the CDC, Artur Mas is supporting independence, together with most CDC leaders, members and voters. However, Duran i Lleida and a large part of the UDC leadership is opposed to independence and support the creation of a Catalan State within a confederated Spain. The CiU has been running together in all the elections for the last 35 years and for many voters they are like a single party. 

People participating in public disorders could be accused of terrorism

The CiU has traditionally given its support to the main reforms proposed by the Spanish Government during the last 3 decades. In fact, its support has been crucial in certain moments, such as to guarantee Spain's accession to the Eurozone or to pass the first austerity measures in 2010. After the recent Paris terrorist attacks, the governing People's Party (PP) and the opposition Socialist Party (PSOE) reached an agreement to reform the Penal Code, to strengthen the legal measures against Islamic terrorism.

However, they also agreed on reforming Article 573, which defines what terrorism is, and have included "public disorders" with "the objective" to "subvert the Constitutional order" or to "economically damage the institutions of the State". This means that citizens participating in an unauthorised demonstration supporting Catalonia's independence or the end of the Spanish monarchy could be accused of terrorism. In addition, the Catalan Government could be accused of terrorism if it backs protests for not paying taxes to Spanish authorities. Since these doubts have not been solved, the CDC is abstaining and does not back the reform.

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  • The meeting of CiU's National Executive Commission (by ACN)

  • The meeting of CiU's National Executive Commission (by ACN)