Government guarantees bullfighting won’t return to Catalonia “regardless of the Constitutional Court”
The Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Josep Rull, assured that the Government will do everything in its power to keep the ban on bullfighting in Catalonia, which has been reversed this Thursday by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). Rull insisted that the executive’s will is to have “a country in which those shows which imply death and animal torture will not be allowed”. The civic platform 'Prou!' (“Enough!” in Catalan), which presented the Popular Legislative Initiative to the Parliament that led to the prohibition of bullfighting in Catalonia, also reacted to the TC’s decision. The platform considered it “a shameful return to the past” and described it as a “political decision”. The TC considered the Parliament to have “exceeded its competences” and “restricted the citizens’ rights and freedoms” when banning bullfighting in 2010 and defines bullfighting as an “intangible cultural heritage”.
Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan Government has reaffirmed the prohibition on hosting bullfighting in Catalonia. After the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) annulled this Thursday the ban on this kind of show (which the Parliament approved in 2010), the Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Josep Rull, assured that bullfighting won’t return to Catalonia regardless of the TC”. "We have the power to regulate and it is very easy to make these shows which imply death and animal torture impossible”, he said. The TC considered the Parliament to have “exceeded its competences” and “restricted the citizens’erights and freedoms” when banning the bullfighting in 2010 and defines bullfighting as an “intangible cultural heritage”. The civic platform 'Prou!' (meaning “Enough!”nin Catalan), which presented the Popular Legislative Initiative to the Parliament that led to the prohibition of bullfighting in Catalonia, considered the TC’s decision “a shameful return to the past” and described it as a “political decision”.
Soon after the TC’s decision was made public, Rull said before the press that there are “many normative mechanisms”ato make the will of Catalans prevail and keep the ban on bullfighting. The Catalan Minister emphasised that the ban, approved by a majority of the Parliament in 2010, came from a Popular Legislative Initiative presented by the platform ‘Prou’ which was backed by 180,000 signatures. “The TC is not only attacking a parliamentary decision”dsaid Rull and assured that Catalonia speaks the same language as the rest of Europe, “the language of the animal’s rights”.
Finally, Rull also pointed out that the TC didn’t issue any resolution when the Canary Islands banned bullfighting and therefore considered the Court’s decision to have “political meaning”.
Bullfighting has been, for centuries, presented by Spanish nationalism as “the national fiesta”, the utmost celebration of Spanish pride. Many Catalans thus perceive bullfighting as an imposed tradition, intimately associated with Spanish nationalism.
“A shameful return to the past”
In a similar sense, the civic platform 'Prou!' (meaning “Enough!”nin Catalan) described the TC’s decision to reverse the ban on bullfighting in Catalonia as “a shameful return to the past”. The platform which launched the Popular Legislative Initiative against bullfighting, which was later approved by the Parliament, considered it “impossible”mthat the TC’s decision “responds only to legal arguments”eand sees “political intention”oinstead. “It is not bad news for the animals, because bullfighting won’t return to Catalonia, but it is bad news for democracy”, ‘Prou’rspokesman, Leonardo Anselmi, told the CNA. Thus, the platform will launch an international campaign to report “the violation of the democratic rights that civil society has suffered”. “There is a long task ahead, all across Europe and through the international specialised courts”, ‘Prou!’rstated in a communiqué.
Barcelona “will protect animal rights”
Barcelona’s City Hall committed itself to keeping the ban on bullfighting in the Catalan capital. According to Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau, the city has “its own regulation” which is “is totally valid” regardless of the TC. “We have our own regulation which goes further than bullfighting and refers to the impossibility of harming animals”, said Colau. “We will do whatever it takes to guarantee that both this regulation and animal rights are respected”.
In a similar vein, the representative from left wing pro-independence ERC in the local government, Alfred Bosch, criticised the decision. “We will not come out to play with an inquisitional court which returns to darker times and allows torture and the death of animals in public shows”, he said and assured that in Barcelona “there won’t be any bullfighting, regardless of the TC’s decisions”.