International press remains silent about the modification of the Catalan Statute

The Constitutional Court?s most important sentence in 33 years of democracy, which represents an inflexion point in Spain?s political model, has found no echo at all in International press. Not a single article in the main newspapers from France, the UK,


June 30, 2010 12:16 AM

Barcelona (CNA).- The international press has not given any attention to what appears to be technical news but in fact has a deep impact in the Spanish territorial model and in Catalonia’s present and future. No international newspapers have reported on the issue and only 3 important news agencies have done so. One of them, the Associated Press, has stated that the Constitutional Court’s sentence leaves the Statute of Autonomy almost as it was, without analysing the political consequences and the reinterpretations. AFP stress that the sentence has caused “anger in the Catalan Government” and ANSA entitles that the Constitutional Court says “no” to 14 articles.

This morning and early afternoon the digital editions of the main European and North-American newspapers did not make any reference to the Constitutional Court’s sentence. This sentence alters the Catalan judicial model, eliminates guarantees regarding the State’s minimum expenditure in Catalonia, bans the use of Catalan as “the main language” in the public administration in Catalonia and stresses that Catalonia is not a “nation” but a “nationality” within “the only and indissoluble Spanish nation”.

The Associated Press (AP) has put out the headline “The Constitutional Court leaves most of the Statute untouched”, which is the thesis defended by the Spanish Government of Prime Minister Zapatero. According to this thesis, the Court has “only” eliminated 14 articles and modified almost 30, when the appeal made by the People’s Party claimed that 113 articles were not constitutional. In terms of quantity of writing, it is true that most of the Statute remains untouched. However, important articles have been eliminated or modified. The AP states, “the high court has kept most of the chart that guarantees new self-government powers to the rich region of Catalonia”. They interpret that the fact of keeping the term “nation” in the Statute introduction when referring to Catalonia, even though the Court has precisely underlined that it has no legal validity, is “a defeat for the conservatives who had complained that this project was undermining the idea of Spain as a united state”. The AP also covers the declaration from the Catalan President, José Montilla, who said that he “respected the sentence” but he “complained” about the shortening.

Besides, the Agence France Presse (AFP) titles: “The Constitutional Court approves a modified Statute of Catalonia”. AFP explains that the sentence has caused “anger in the Catalan Government” which has “threatened” with demonstrations. The agency explains some of the controversial points of the sentence, such as the term “nation” in the introduction or the elimination of Catalan language as “the main language” within the public administration. In the article, AFP also quotes the declarations from President Montilla and the Catalan opposition leader, Artur Mas.

Finally, another agency that has covered the issue is the Italian ANSA, which has entitled their article “the Constitutional Court says ‘no’ to 14 articles of the Catalan Statute”. It stresses the shortening referring to the judiciary model and the People’s Defender. It illustrates the news with a picture of Artur Mas, recounting on what he said this weekend, that he would ask President Montilla for earlier elections.