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Plans to reform Spanish Constitution delayed

Committee in Congress to discuss Magna Carta aimed to offer an olive branch to Catalan pro-independence bloc

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15 February 2018 11:38 AM

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ACN | Barcelona

The committee on territorial debate in the Spanish Congress will last longer than expected, at least until early 2019. It was supposed to finish in June this year, to be followed by a reform of the Spanish Constitution. Yet, the lawmaker heading the commission in the Spanish legislative chamber, José Enrique Serrano, has proposed extending the committee’s working period until 2019.

Boosted by the Spanish Socialist party and backed by Mariano Rajoy’s party after the October 1 independence referendum, at a moment when the tensions between Catalonia and Spain were at their highest, its work was expected to end in June this year. The commission was created to evaluate Spain's territorial model after the holding of the October 1 referendum. Thus the parliamentary initiative apparently aimed to offer an olive branch to Catalan pro-independence forces. 

Pro-independence parties out of committee

The Socialist party’s proposal to create a committee on the territorial issue was not welcomed by all political parties in Spain’s legislative chamber. Some decided not to take part in it, including the pro-independence Esquerra Republicana and PDeCAT parties. Others, such as the left-wing Podemos party, as well as the main Basque party, also decided not to participate in the committee.    

What’s more, the largest parties in the Spanish Congress, the People’s Party and the Socialist party, vetoed some former Socialist MPs from taking part in the committee. Their participation had been put forward by the unionist Ciutadans party, which criticized the way the committee was being handled by the two main Spanish parties.

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  • Spanish president Mariano Rajoy with leader of the opposition Pedro Sánchez earlier this month (by ACN)

  • Spanish president Mariano Rajoy with leader of the opposition Pedro Sánchez earlier this month (by ACN)

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