catalonia's push for independence

Mas: Reforming the Spanish Constitution will lead Catalonia to a dead end

December 7, 2015 07:59 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Catalonia "won't get anything" from a reform of the Spanish Constitution, on the contrary, "it will lead to frustration" assured current Catalan President, Artur Mas. "It is nonsense to suggest that Catalonia burns itself to flames by promoting a reform of the Spanish Constitution" as it will lead "to a dead end once again", assured Mas. He made these statements in response to the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) President, Francisco Pérez de los Cobos, who urged the Parliament to propose concrete modifications of the Spanish Constitution in order to launch their demands rather than doing so by breaking the law. "We know that the Parliament has the right to propose constitutional reforms" stated Mas "but now it is not about rights, it is about politics, real politics" he assured. Mas made these declarations in Paris, where he was attending the Paris Climate Change Conference.

Spain's electoral campaign starts with Catalonia's independence in the spotlight

December 4, 2015 12:28 PM | Sara Prim

The campaign for the upcoming Spanish elections has begun. On the 20th of December Spaniards will elect 558 of the 616 seats in Spanish bicameral Parliament: 350 for the Spanish Parliament and 208 for the Senate. The strategy regarding Catalonia and its push for independence is set to be a crucial battlefield - many parties have expressed their support or open opposition to Catalonia's aspirations and the reform of the Spanish Constitution to improve Spain's current territorial organisation has also been the focus of the main parties' programmes. Besides this debate, the upcoming elections are set to mark the end of the two-party system, represented by People's Party (PP) and Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), which have alternated in the Spanish government since 1982. Anti-Catalan nationalism ‘Ciutadans’ and alternative left ‘Podemos’ have already shown their force and popular support in the past European, Regional and Local elections and are likely to burst into the Spanish Parliament, forcing the main parties to reach agreements. 

Spanish alternative left Podemos openly support a referendum in Catalonia

November 25, 2015 07:37 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

In order to outline their support for the celebration of a referendum in Catalonia, Spanish alternative left Podemos added a paragraph to its political programme for the upcoming 20-D Spanish elections. Initially, the text didn’t mention the word “referendum”and just referred to “the rights of the autonomic governments to hold consultations amongst the citizens regarding the territorial fitting”. This is still stated in the programme but they have now made clear their commitment to “promote the celebration of a referendum with legal guarantees in Catalonia so that the citizens could choose the kind of territorial relationship that they would like to establish with Spain”. The programme also outlines the party’s will to evaluate and debate the experiences of the UK and Scotland and Canada and Quebec.

Council of Europe receives 1.5 million signatures supporting Catalonia’s independence

November 6, 2015 08:58 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The main pro-independences civil associations, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Òmnium Cultural and the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) handed over 1.5 million signatures supporting Catalonia’s independence to the Council of Europe. The signatures were gathered during the non-binding referendum that took place on the 9th of November 2014. The pro-independence civil associations’representatives travelled to Strasbourg to denounce “the lack of democratic will of the Spanish State”and they reported on Catalonia’s situation to a delegation of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. The delivery of these signatures is the first international diplomatic action promoted by the ANC, Òmnium and the AMI. “The Catalan case is present in the European agenda”stated the ANC’s president, Jordi Sànchez, and added that “giving first-hand information from civil society is very important”. 

Switzerland will only mediate between Catalonia and Spain “if all the parts explicitly request it”

November 6, 2015 03:34 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Swiss executive will only mediate between Catalonia and Spain “if all the parts explicity request it”. This was the answer of the Swiss government to the question posed by Swiss MPs from several parties whom asked what would be Switzerland’s role regarding Catalonia’s push for independence. “Considering Switzerland’s neutrality and democratic tradition would the Federal Council propose our country’s good manners to ensure mediation between Madrid and Barcelona?” Swiss MPs asked their executive on the 22nd of September. The answer of the Swiss government reflected that “Catalonia’s pro-independence aspirations affect Spain’s internal politics”and therefore “the possibility of a Swiss intervention isn’t planned”. The Catalan Foreign Affairs Secretary, Roger Albinyana, celebrated the Swiss proposition as “it is the first international actor”to highlight the “lack of dialogue”of the Spanish government. 

Roadmap after 27-S: What do pro-independence forces agree on?

October 9, 2015 03:31 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Two weeks after the 27-S Catalan elections, the debate on who will be the next President is still bogged down. Pro-independence unitary list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ (‘Together For Yes’), which won the elections but didn’t get an absolute majority, confirmed that Artur Mas was their candidate to run for President. However, radical left CUP have repeatedly stated that they won’t instate Mas as President, as an independent Catalonia needs a leader “who can’t be identified with cuts, corruption and privatisations”. “Now we are extremely focused on the content, the what, when, and how” stated CUP’s leader Antonio Baños, in an interview with 'Catalunya Ràdio'. Simultaneously, in another radio interview, ‘Junts Pel Sí’ lead member Raül Romeva assured that he “agrees with almost everything” regarding CUP’s roadmap towards independence and insisted that choosing a candidate to be President “is now secondary”.

MEPs ask for “dialogue” rather than “legal procedures” to deal with Catalonia’s push for independence

October 2, 2015 02:50 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

MEPs from different groups and ideological sensibilities have reacted to President Mas’ summons for the 9-N symbolic vote on independence. Conservative MEP Ian Duncan, who was invited as an international observer to the 9-N consultation, considered “illogical and irrational” the Spanish government’s attitude regarding Catalonia’s push for independence and defined the 9-N as “an attempt to be democratic”. Duncan stated that Catalonia’s push for independence “is troubling any democrat” and added that the future of a nation “can’t be settled in a courtroom”. Lithuanian Liberal MEP Petras Austrevicious appealed for an “effective dialogue” between Barcelona and Madrid and the European Democrats’ Vice-President, Belgian Kathleen van Brempt, pointed to “political solutions” rather than “legal procedures” to solve the situation in Catalonia.