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Spanish PM believes that a self-determination vote could create "difficulties in the markets"

The day before the massive pro-independence demonstration in Barcelona, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, once again rejected Catalonia's right to self-determination. Furthemore, Rajoy stated that a self-determination consultation vote or a unilateral declaration of independence would generate "a political problem and difficulties in the markets". Rajoy was answering to an MP from the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, Josep Sánchez-Llibre. The Catalan MP stated that "what really threatens the [economic] recovery is that, in front of Catalonia's demands, [the Spanish Government] has not even issued half of a political answer that can allow the markets to believe in an agreement and not in it being on a collision course".

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10 September 2014 11:52 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The day before the massive pro-independence demonstration in Barcelona, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, once again rejected Catalonia's right to self-determination in a government control session at the Spanish Parliament. Furthermore, Rajoy stated that a self-determination consultation vote or a unilateral declaration of independence would generate "a political problem and difficulties in the markets". Spain's Prime Minister was answering to MP Josep Sánchez-Llibre, from the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, which runs the Catalan Government. Sánchez-Llibre stated that "what really threatens the [economic] recovery is that, in front of Catalonia's demands, [the Spanish Government] has not even issued half of a political answer that can allow the markets to believe in an agreement and not in it being on a collision course". Spain's PM replied that "If you do not want problems, what you have to do is say that you will not call for an illegal referendum, and you will see that there are no problems in any market". He said that having "rulers who threaten without honouring the law or even issuing a unilateral declaration of independence, might generate a political problem and difficulties in the markets". For the Spanish Government there is only one way, the majority of Catalan parties have to totally give up on their plans and demands to hold a self-determination vote. According to the restrictive interpretation of the Constitution made by the Spanish authorities, such a vote is "impossible" and they totally reject talking about how it could be allowed.


"Respecting the Constitution is more democratic than voting"

Furthermore, on the same session, the Spanish Deputy PM, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, stated that "respecting the Constitution is more democratic than voting", referring to the Catalan self-determination. The Spanish Government, run by the People's Party (PP), is using a restrictive interpretation of the Constitution to deny Catalans the right to hold a non-binding consultation vote on their political future as a nation. Since the PP also holds an absolute majority in the Spanish Parliament and has appointed the majority of the Constitutional Court members, this conservative and Spanish nationalist party – led by Mariano Rajoy – totally controls the Executive and the Legislative and has a definitive influence on the Constitutional Court.

The PP has imposed a nationalistic interpretation of the Spanish Constitution, stressing that Spain is the only nation and a Unitarian state. In fact, the PP and most of the Spanish authorities have been denying Catalonia's nationhood and its right to hold a self-determination vote, despite the Spanish Constitution literally saying that Spain is formed of "nationalities and regions". This formula was a concession made by Basques and Catalans during the talks to draft the Spanish Constitution in 1978 in order to avoid calling Catalonia a "nation" and not to derail a democratisation process that was negotiated with Franco's dictatorial and military regime. Catalonia, which was one of the main resistance centres against Franco, massively endorsed the 1978 Constitution with the implicit promise that, once democracy was consolidated in Spain, Catalonia's nationhood would be fully recognised. However, since the early 2000s, Spanish nationalism is rising up again and is denying the existence of other nations within Spain, gradually killing the idea that a pluri-national Spain would be possible.

"No steps backwards"

On top of this, the Spanish Government stated on Wednesday afternoon that it has "respect" for the massive pro-independence demonstration, which will take place in Barcelona on Thursday 11th of September, on Catalonia's National Day. However, the Spanish Executive insisted that they "will not make any step backwards" and will act "with rigour" to stop the self-determination consultation vote from happening. In December 2013 a two third majority of the Catalan Parliament agreed to organise such a vote on the 9th of November 2014, following the electoral mandate from the last Catalan elections.

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  • The Spanish PM a few weeks ago in La Moncloa (by ACN)

  • The Spanish PM a few weeks ago in La Moncloa (by ACN)