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The government won’t obey the TC’s regarding Catalonia’s foreign action

Spain’s executive has repeatedly insisted on the alleged illegality of the new Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs and has taken its creation and competences before the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). The Catalan government decided to change the name of this department as a “preventive measure” to avoid the TC taking further measures against it but the Spanish executive again appealed and urged the TC to suspend the Ministry, “regardless of the denomination”, after considering that its competences “remain unchanged”. This Thursday, the Parliament has decided that they won’t obey the TC’s cautionary suspension of the new Ministry, the opposite to what the Catalan People’s Party (PP) and Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ urged the government to do.

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17 March 2016 07:12 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan government will go ahead with its foreign affairs strategy and won’t obey the rulings of the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) regarding this matter, despite the controversy with the Spanish executive. First, the TC decided to suspend the new Catalan Ministry for allegedly exceeding the government’s competences in matters of foreign action specified in the Catalan Statute of Autonomy. Then, after the Catalan government decided to change the name of this department as a “preventive measure” to avoid the TC taking further measures against it, the Spanish executive again appealed and urged the TC to suspend the Ministry, “regardless of the denomination”, after considering that its competences “remain unchanged”. This Thursday, the Parliament has decided that they won’t obey the TC’s cautionary suspension of the new Ministry, the opposite to what the Catalan People’s Party (PP) and Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ urged the government to do.


Pro-independence cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and its partner in government, radical left CUP, have refused to comply with the TC’s rulings regarding the government’s foreign action strategy, different to what PP and ‘Ciutadans’ had asked for. The Parliament also rejected modifying the competences of the Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, led by ‘Junts Pel Sí’ top member and former Green MEP, Raül Romeva, to adapt them to the cautionary suspension imposed by the TC.

‘Junts Pel Sí’ MP Marta Pascal stressed that the government won’t give up on its foreign affairs policy despite “the Spanish state’s obsession with silencing the executive”. “They want us to sell Spain’s brand, and Spain’s brand doesn’t sell”, stated Pascal. “What we want is to explain to the world who we are and what we aim to do”, she added. She also criticised PPC’s attempts to “deliberately stop” the government’s foreign action and accused the party of “making a fool of themselves” by suggesting that we find spaces to dialogue but all the while continuing to take every step regarding foreign policy before the Court.

Alternative left coalition ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ MP, Joan Josep Nuet, stated that the government has “the right and the obligation” to do foreign action. “What they can’t do with votes they do through a politicised TC”, he lamented.

PP MP Xavier García Albiol warned the MPs of the responsibility, which could go further from politics, for rejecting his party’s proposal. In response, CUP MP Anna Gabriel assured that her party is “absolutely aware” of this “and ready to do whatever it takes”.

The controversy over changing the department’s name

Following the government’s decision to change the name of the Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which Romeva described as a “preventive measure” to “guarantee that they continue to fulfil the 27-S democratic mandate”, Spain’s executive presented an appeal to the TC to suspend this change as well. The appeals consider the competences of the new ministry to “remain unchanged”, “regardless of the denomination used”, and thus that it “fails to fulfil” the cautionary suspension of the Ministry dictated by the TC on the 16th of February 2016.

The decision to change the name of the department was defined by the government as a temporary measure “while the TC would keep the suspension”. The appeal presented by the Spanish executive also emphasises that Romeva himself assured that he would continue to be Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs and that those changes didn’t modify “at all” the content of the new ministry “neither the functions nor the responsibilities”. Thus, the Spanish government wants the TC to declare invalid those decrees which reflect the name change and the assignation of the Ministry to the EU.

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  • Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva (by ACN)

  • Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva (by ACN)