Spanish president may convene the Council of Ministers during the summer recess

Rajoy will set up an extraordinary meeting if the Catalan Parliament Bureau admits the referendum law

Archive - Rajoy in Spanish Congress (by ACN)
Archive - Rajoy in Spanish Congress (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

August 2, 2017 03:08 PM

The ping-pong game between Catalonia and Spain continues. From his summer holidays in the northwest, Spanish president Mariano Rajoy says that he does not rule out convening the Council of Ministers for an extraordinary meeting on August 16, in the event that the Catalan Parliament Bureau admits the referendum law that same day.

The Spanish president furthermore insisted that law and democracy “cannot be separated” and, therefore, “with confidence and temperance [I can say] there won't be any referendum on October 1,” he said.

The Council of Ministers’ next meeting is set for August 25, but “it is possible that there will be one before that,” Rajoy told the press Wednesday, although he added that he has not yet decided.

It has been a tense week between Catalonia and Spain since the Catalan Parliament approved on Wednesday an amendment to the chamber regulations, allowing bills to be fast-tracked with only a single reading. The day after the Catalan Parliament passed the reform, the Spanish government announced that it was going to challenge it in court. They did so by formally appealing the Catalan chamber’s decision, calling the reform unconstitutional.

On Monday, the Spanish Constitutional Court unanimously accepted the Spanish government’s appeal against the legislative reform and preemptively suspended it. On Tuesday, the Catalan Government announced that they would formally petition Spain’s Constitutional Court to reconsider its decision.

Paradoxically, the Constitutional Court’s sentence on the single reading regulation says that there is no obstacle for any law, no matter how complicated, to be processed in a single reading. Both in the Spanish Congress and Senate, as well as in 14 other autonomous communities in Spain, the regulations dictate that it is possible to pass bills with just a single reading.