The PP rejects constitutional reform to solve the Catalan situation
The Vicepresident of the Spanish Government, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, confirmed on Friday that the People’s Party won’t include constitutional reform in its electoral manifesto. Her words shut down a debate started by her own Minister of Justice, Rafael Catalá, who suggested that Constitutional Reform could be studied. Sáenz de Santamaría said that the PP will not present any initiative to reform the Constitution because that would require a “clear objective” and “consensus” amongst political parties. The Spanish Vicepresident also warned that no constitutional reform would ever satisfy the demands of pro-independence parties in Catalonia. “It is very difficult to satisfy someone who is not willing to be satisfied”, she warned.
Barcelona (CNA).- The Vice-president of the Spanish Government, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, confirmed on Friday that the People’s Party won’t be including any constitutional reform in its electoral manifesto. Shutting down a debate started by his own Minister of Justice, Rafael Catalá, Santamaría said that no constitutional reform would ever satisfy the demands of pro-independence parties in Catalonia. “It is very difficult to satisfy someone who is not willing to be satisfied”, she warned. A vast majority of Catalans want to hold a vote on independence from Spain, something that the PP says is not allowed by the Constitution. The Spanish Socialist Party, as well left-wing Podemos, say they want to reform the Constitution to create a more federal state, although they would need the support of the PP to do so. Demands to reform the Carta Magna to allow an independence referendum, however, are likely to fall on deaf ears.
Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said in a press conference that it is very “complicated” to achieve consensus to reform the Spanish Constitution. This consensus “doesn’t exist right now”, she added. According to the Spanish Vice-president, there are “very different” political opinions on how to reform the Constitution, especially when it comes to the Catalan issue. Asked whether or not her party would make constitutional concessions to the Catalans to stop the “separatist challenge”, she said no. “The issue is not to do with (constitutional) reforms to satisfy separatists”, she added.
Catalans are going to the polls on the 27th of September in an election that is seen by many as a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence. Catalan President Artur Mas called the election after failing to reach an agreement with Madrid to hold a legal and binding referendum. The ruling PP has always refused to discuss a Scottish-style referendum for Catalonia, arguing that that would be illegal under the Spanish Constitution. However, Mariano Rajoy’s party is also refusing to discuss a constitutional reform to make that referendum a reality.
Any constitutional reform affecting issues such as the Catalan one requires approval by two-thirds of the Spanish congress, legislative elections, and a second approval by the newly elected chamber. After that, the text should be put to referendum, and accepted by a majority of Spanish citizens. Therefore, even if the Spanish Socialists (PSOE) or Podemos go ahead with their federal plans to reform the Constitution, they will need the support of the PP. This makes it very unlikely for any new text to include the right of Catalonia to hold a referendum.