The Catalan Parliament states the Spanish Constitution’s agreement is now broken after its reform

The Debate on the State of the Nation ended at the Catalan Parliament with the approval of several resolutions. After three days of debate, the resolutions were voted on Friday. One of them condemns the way in which the Spanish Constitution amendment was negotiated and passed, as it did not take into account parties that participated in the Constitution drafting and approval, and it also interferes with the financial autonomy of Catalonia. Another motion demands the Catalan Government to present the budget for 2012 before October 10th next.


September 30, 2011 11:44 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Parliament certified on Friday that the Spanish Constitution’s reform undergone to include a deficit limitation broke the Constitutional consensus. The annual Debate on the State of the Nation finished with several resolutions being approved. The Catalan assembly approved a resolution condemning the Constitutional amendment as having been negotiated and approved only between the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and the People’s Party, excluding parties that were essential to approve the Constitution in 1978, after the end of the Franco dictatorship, such as the Catalan nationalists and the Communists. The first are represented by the Centre-Right Coalition ‘Convergència i Unió’ (CiU), which runs the Catalan Government and has almost half of the seats in the Catalan Parliament. The second corresponds nowadays to the Green Socialist Coalition ‘Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds - Esquerra Unida i Alternativa’ (ICV-EUiA). They were joined by the Leftwing Catalan Independence Party ‘Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya’ (ERC). The three forces passed a resolution stating that the Constitutional consensus from 1978 is broken and that a new period begins in the relations between Catalonia and Spain. In addition they consider that the amendment to limit the public deficit is a loss of financial autonomy for Catalonia. Finally, they also lamented that the reform had been approved without a previous referendum.

This resolution is the Catalan Parliament’s answer to the Constitutional amendment approved unilaterally by the PSOE and the PP in the Spanish Parliament. Therefore, in the Catalan Parliament, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and the Catalan branch of the People’s Party (PPC) voted against the resolution that in the end received the support of CiU, ICV-EUiA and ERC. PSC and PPC were joined by the small, populist and anti-Catalan nationalist party ‘Ciutadans’ (C’s).

The Catalan Government obliged to present

Besides this resolution on the Spanish Constitution’s amendment, all the opposition parties together approved a resolution asking the Catalan Government run by CiU to present their budget for 2012 before October 10th so as to negotiate the budget under the interference with the Spanish elections on November 20th. The Catalan Government spokesperson underlined that in the last seven years, the Government –which was then run by a leftwing three-party coalition– had “never, never, never” presented its budget before such a date. However, he said the Government would do its best to meet with such deadline. The resolutions were approved on Friday after Thursday's scheduled voting was cancelled because of a chaotic situation due to the enormous amount of resolutions and points to be voted. The President of the Catalan Parliament, Núria de Gispert, took the decision to postpone the voting, allow the parties to group resolutions, and proceed with the voting on Friday morning.

Besides those two resolutions, CiU approved some others on thematic areas and with different parties, depending on the sensitivity. For instance, with the PPC, with whom CiU negotiated the budget for 2011, CiU agreed on resolutions regarding employment and healthcare. With the PSC, the main opposition party, CiU agreed on re-opening the committee to negotiate a Catalan electoral law. Finally with ERC, CiU approved a resolution asking for an economic agreement with Spain similar to those Navarra and the Basque Country already have. In addition, all the parties voted for a resolution stressing the need for the Mediterranean Railway Corridor to be included among the European Transport Networks. A resolution defending the Catalan school’s linguistic immersion model was also approved with the votes of all parties but the PPC and C’s.