The Spanish Defence Minister, Pedro Morenés, warned that the army won’t intervene in Catalonia during the 27-S upcoming elections as long as “everybody fulfils their duty”. Morenés said this referring to a possible unilateral declaration of independence, in the event that pro-independence forces win the Catalan elections. In an interview on Spanish National Radio (RNE) he underlined that the army “is an absolutely and perfectly democratic” institution and its members “will strictly obey the law”. The Minister also spoke in support of the application of Article 115 of the Spanish Constitution, which allows the central government to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy if the “rules aren’t adhered to”.
Barcelona (CNA).- The Spanish Defence Minister, Pedro Morenés, assured that the army won’t act in Catalonia during the 27-S as long as “everybody fulfils their duty”. In an interview with Spanish National Radio (RNE) this Tuesday he recalled that Catalan politicians “have sworn to obey and enforce the Spanish Constitution” and said that he expected them “to do so”. When asked about the hypothetical unilateral declaration of independence after the elections, he spoke in support of the implementation of Article 115 of the Spanish Constitution, which establishes the suspension of Catalonia’s autonomy. Morenés stated that he is for “applying the laws if they are disobeyed” and underlined that the army “is an absolutely and perfectly democratic” institution whose members “strictly obey” the rules.
The Spanish Minister emphasised that under the rule of law everyone has their responsibility and that the Catalan politicians have committed themselves to the Spanish Constitution. He stressed that “they have sworn to obey and enforce the Spanish Constitution” and outlined that he expected them “to do so”.
In the event of a unilateral declaration of independence, if pro-independence parties win the Catalan elections on the 27-S, Morenés openly showed his support for the application of Article 115 of the Spanish Constitution and emphasised that “the law has to be applied when disobeyed”. Article 115 allows the Spanish Government to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy and force it to adhere to the rules.
Morenés’ statement has caused huge controversy amongst the Catalan parties and shook the Spanish political scene as a whole. Both ministers and candidates didn’t take much time to react.
A statement “not of this world”, according to Francesc Homs
The Catalan Minister for the Presidency, Francesc Homs, labelled Morenés’ words as “indescribable in a democratic context”. He stated that such statements were “not of this world” and added that it can only be hoped “that one day, a minister from the People's Party (PP) will take Catalonia’s vote into account”.
The spokeswoman for the Catalan government, Neus Munté, responded to Morenés by saying that a statement like this could only be made by “someone who is afraid of democracy”.
Tardà: Morenés is “a fool”
The spokesman for left wing pro-independence ERC in the Spanish Parliament, Joan Tardà, described Morenés as a “fool” and a very “low-cost” person in terms of ethics. He said that it was embarrassing that a person who is supposed to be “cultured and travelled” could say “such nonsense”.
Convinced that the Spanish Minister of Defence was using words to try and “frighten” Catalan citizens on the occasion of the 27-S elections, Tardà noted that this only showed “his weakness” and that “threatening and trying to intimidate means that you are only left with stupidity”.
‘Catalunya Sí Que Es Pot’: Overthrow PP ministers and “close their mouths”
According to Catalan Green Socialist Party ICV and alternative left-wing Podem coalition ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ candidate Lluís Rabell, the goal of his candidacy is to “overthrow the government of PP” so that Morenés won’t need to “open his mouth” again.
Ciutadans: “The PP has already admitted defeat”
According to the candidate for Anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans, Inés Arrimadas, such statements show the weakness of the PP and how sure the party is of a pro-independence forces’ victory in the Catalan elections. “The PP is already thinking about its reaction” to Catalonia’s hypothetical declaration of independence, she assured.