Madrid challenges three more Catalan laws in the Constitutional Court
The Spanish government has decided to take the Catalan Law on Empty Houses, the Catalan Law for Local Government and the Catalan Law on Equality between Men and Women to the Constitutional Court. The executive in Madrid has announced this only two days after a meeting between Spanish President Mariano Rajoy and Catalan President Carles Puigdemont in which both leaders agreed on trying to reduce the number of litigious cases between the administrations. With these appeals, the number of Catalan laws challenged by the Spanish government in the Constitutional Court tops 30. Once the appeals are accepted by the Court, the laws will be automatically temporarily suspended.
Madrid (CNA).- The Spanish government has challenged three more Catalan laws in the Constitutional Court, bringing to 30 the number of acts passed by the Catalan government and Catalan Parliament appealed so far. The Spanish executive, led by President Mariano Rajoy, has decided to take to the Court the Law for Local Government, the Law on Empty Houses and the Law on Equality between Men and Women. Once the appeals, announced on Friday, are accepted by the Court, the laws will be automatically temporarily suspended.
Despite the meeting between Mariano Rajoy and the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and their compromise to reduce the number of judiciary conflicts between both administrations, the litigations between Madrid and Barcelona not only continue, but increase. There are now 30 laws being challenged in the Constitutional Court, most of them because Madrid considers that Catalonia is acting beyond its recognised powers. Besides this, the Spanish government also says it could challenge Law 24/2015 against evictions and energy poverty. A similar law was already suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court, but consumers are protected by this one that is now, as well, under threat.
The Spanish Minister of Justice, Rafael Catalá, said in a press conference in Madrid that they are “convinced” that the Catalan government is legislating on issues that involve powers “reserved” for the central government. According to Catalá, challenging laws in court is part of “normal” institutional activities because the Spanish government wants that “law, the Constitution and the power framework” are respected.
The Catalan government spokeswoman, Neus Munté, regretted that they only found out about the appeal “48 hours after the President meeting with Mariano Rajoy”. In a press conference, Munté said the decision is “an attack on local autonomy, on the equality between men and women and on the empty property tax”. She argued that the law on Empty Houses “intended to compensate” the Spanish government’s “inaction and its failure to manage the problem”.
According to Munté, the decision by the Spanish government “deepens” the “scepticism” of the Catalan Government about the possibility to reach an agreement with Madrid. “We asked for more political solutions and they’ve replied with more litigation”, she regretted. “This reaffirms our commitment to continue with our road-map and protect the social rights of the Catalan people”, she added, referring to the path towards independence.