Parliament declares 2017 referendum was 'legal' despite unionists challenging move

Chamber also approves motion demanding management of train service transferred to Catalonia by end of year

Parliamentary spokespeople guide MPs on what to vote in motions during the general policies debate on September 30, 2022
Parliamentary spokespeople guide MPs on what to vote in motions during the general policies debate on September 30, 2022 / Bernat Vilaró
Guifré Jordan

Guifré Jordan | @enGuifre | Barcelona

September 30, 2022 02:07 PM

October 1, 2022 01:03 PM

The Catalan parliament has declared that the 2017 independence was "legal and legitimate."

During the conclusion of the annual general policies debate on Friday, motions were voted including one by pro-independence Junts, which states that the vote, banned by the Spanish Constitutional Court, was valid, as it was "the result in favor of turning Catalonia in an independent state with the form of a republic."

Other motions related to the 2017 events on the eve of their fifth anniversary were also approved, including one put forward by the leading government party, Esquerra, saying that the vote was "a key milestone" in the defense of democracy.

"The Catalan parliament states its clear commitment to work and achieve the Catalan republic through the democratic exercise," reads the text approved by a majority of lawmakers.

The motions related to the referendum and self-determination passed despite some unionist parties trying to avoid the vote on them taking place.

In a parliamentary meeting on Thursday, Ciudadanos and far-right Vox urged the speaker and the rest of the bureau to not accept them for consideration but did not manage to avoid their approval.

Calls for train service be managed by Catalan administration

In parallel, a motion put forward by the Socialists referring to the train network was passed. It urges Spain to "transfer the necessary economic funds" in order that the Catalan government can manage train services that are within their power by the end of 2022.

Also regarding Rodalies commuter train service, both government parties, Esquerra and Junts, managed to pass another motion stating that the parliament asks Spain to "transfer Rodalies service management so that the Catalan government takes completely over through Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC) public company."

Motion of confidence denied

Yet, the parliament denied asking the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, to face a motion of confidence. The proposal was presented by the People's Party and was rejected by Junts, Esquerra, the Socialists, CUP and anti-austerity En Comú Podem – Junts had suggested earlier this week that Aragonès face a motion of confidence in the Catalan chamber if the investiture agreement is not complied with, and this led to the current government coalition crisis.