The Catalan Government will bring Rajoy’s health decree to the Constitutional Court
Following the advice of the Catalan Council for Constitutional Guarantees (CGE), the Catalan Executive will appeal the Spanish Government’s decree to save €7 billion in healthcare this year. However, it will continue implementing the decree until a judicial decision is made. According to the CGE, the decree violates 3 Spanish Constitution articles and 3 others from the Catalan Statute of Autonomy. The decree does not guarantee equality among all citizens, since it limits access to public healthcare. In addition, it invades the Catalan Government’s powers. Left-wing Catalan parties were the first to ask for CGE’s opinion, since they consider the new decree violates basic social rights.
Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Government will bring the Spanish Executive\u2019s decree reducing public spending in healthcare to the Constitutional Court, confirmed on Tuesday by the Spokesperson for the Catalan Government, Francesc Homs. However, it will continue implementing the decree and its public spending reduction measures until a judicial decision is made. Homs explained that the Catalan Government \u2013which is run by the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU)\u2013 will take into account the report issued on Monday by the Catalan Council for Constitutional Guarantees (\u2018Consell de Garanties Estatutàries\u2019, CGE), which stated the Spanish Government\u2019s decree was unconstitutional. The CGE declared that the decree to save \u20AC7 billion in healthcare this year throughout Spain was going against 3 articles of the Spanish Constitution as well as against 3 articles of Catalonia\u2019s Statute of Autonomy, which is its main law. According to the CGE, the decree goes against the equality principle and right to health protection, as it limits access to public healthcare to those not contributing to social security. In addition, the Constitution established that decrees are only to be used for urgent needs, and according to the CGE, it does not apply in this case. Furthermore, the Spanish Government, which is run by the People\u2019s Party (PP), would not respect the Catalan Government\u2019s powers, for instance on the organisation of human resources, the evaluation of medical centres, or the promotion of organ and tissue donations.
Apart from the Catalan Government, four Catalan Left-Wing parties were the first to ask the CGE to issue a report on the Spanish Government\u2019s healthcare decree. The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) \u2013which is the main opposition party\u2013, the Catalan Green Socialist and Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA), the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC), and the radical Catalan Independence Party (SI) considered the decree to invade the Catalan Government\u2019s powers and also damage basic social rights. The PSC announced they will also make the steps for the Catalan Parliament to appeal to the Constitutional Court.
In addition, the PSC and ICV-EUiA are asking the Catalan Government to immediately stop implementing the decree, until the Constitutional Court gives its say. However, the Catalan Government will continue implementing the decree, its Spokesperson said, as \u201Cthe Government must operate within the legal framework\u201D, and the decree is currently a law in force.
The Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato said that the decree is constitutional and that it will guarantee \u201Cthe future viability of the healthcare system\u201D. In addition, Mato emphasised that the decree had been agreed with most of the Autonomous Communities and that it is currently a law approved by the Spanish Parliament, which is already in force.
The PP leader in Catalonia, Alicia Sánchez Camacho, had warned on Tuesday morning that, if the Catalan Government took the decree to the Constitutional Court, it would have an effect on their relations. Camacho pointed out that the Catalan Executive was not being coherent as it wanted to bring the decree to the Constitutional Court, despite having criticised the PP for doing the same with the Catalan Statute of Autonomy, and it wanted to implement the decree\u2019s measures, despite considering them unconstitutional.