Spanish Constitutional Court partially suspends Catalan law on non-binding referenda

May 10, 2017 07:13 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) has unanimously suspended a substantial part of the Catalan law for popular non-binding referenda, approved seven years ago in 2010. In particular, the magistrates have annulled the section which refers to calling a referendum at an autonomic level. They believe that this kind of referendum “is not foreseen in the Spanish Constitution nor in the State’s legislation”. Moreover, the TC has also decided to suspend the creation of the National Transition Advisory Council, a body created through a Catalan Government decree and aimed at beginning the necessary measures for completing Catalonia’s pro-independence process. In this fashion, the TC accepted the appeal presented by the Spanish Government, which claimed that the Catalan law for non-binding referenda was unconstitutional. 

MEPs consider Catalan independence vote sentencing “reprehensible” and “worrying”

March 17, 2017 02:20 PM | ACN

Former Catalan President, Artur Mas, former Catalan Vice President Joana Ortega and former Catalan Minister for Education, Irene Rigau have received severe fines and have been banned from public office for allowing the 9-N symbolic vote on Catalan independence in 2014. “It’s a matter of regret,” Scottish MEP Alyn Smith, from the Greens/European Free Alliance group told the CNA who lamented Spain “dealing with democracy through the court”. “I find it wrong,” said European Conservatives and Reformists Group MEP Ian Duncan and admitted he was “deeply troubled” by the decision. Co-Chair for the Greens/European Free Alliance, Philippe Lamberts, lamented “the stubbornness of the Spanish authorities toward Catalonia” and insisted that Madrid’s attitude “is making dialogue nearly impossible”.

MEPs from all parties consider 9-N trial “counterproductive” and call for "political” solution

February 9, 2017 01:20 PM | ACN

The trial over the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014, which took before Barcelona’s High Court former Catalan President Artur Mas amongst other members of the Government has provoked reactions within and outside of Catalonia. MEPs from all parties have told the CNA that Catalonia and Spain should look for “a political” solution to their differences rather than resorting to the court. “Politicising the judiciary is always a wrong way”, stated ECR MEP Mark Demesmaeker, and lamented “the EU institutions’ silence” on this matter. “Europe can give good solutions”, EPP MEP Csaba Sógor pointed out and called for the 27 Member States to “be on the side of peace, dialogue and negotiation”. According to Ana Gomes, from the Socialists and Democrats, Spain’s response to Catalonia’s political aspirations “doesn't dissuade pro-independence supporters, it does rather the contrary”.

Homs during 9-N trial: “We were not violating any law”

February 8, 2017 06:48 PM | ACN

Former Catalan Minister for Presidency and now Catalan European Democratic Party (PDCeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, testified this Wednesday before Barcelona’s High Court, during the trial over the 9-N symbolic vote on independence. Homs, who was former Catalan President Artur Mas’ right hand man at the time when the non-binding consultation took place, in 2014, gave his testimony as witness. “I told the Government that we were not violating any law and even less the penal code”, Homs stated and pointed out that the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) resolution wasn’t clear. Coinciding with his declaration, this Wednesday it was made public that Homs will have to appear before the Spanish Supreme Court on the 27th of February, accused of disobedience and perversion of justice when co-organising the 9-N.

Spanish Prosecutor demands 9-year ban from public office for Homs for allowing 9-N symbolic vote

January 11, 2017 06:30 PM | ACN

The Spanish Supreme Court’s Prosecutor is calling for the suspension of Catalan Minister and Catalan European Democratic Party (PDCeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, from holding public office for a 9-year period. Homs was accused of disobedience and perversion of justice for co-organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014. This Wednesday, the Prosecutor’s temporary conclusions stated that former Catalan President, Artur Mas’ right-hand man “didn’t suspend any of the articles which allowed the consultation” and that he was “absolutely aware” that “by doing so he violated the mandatory compliance of the Spanish Constitutional Court’s decisions”.

Government budget for 2017 allocates €5.8 M for pro-independence referendum

November 29, 2016 02:23 PM | ACN

The Government’s draft budget for 2017 presented to the Parliament's President, Carme Forcadell, this Tuesday includes an allocation of €5.8 million to guarantee that the pro-independence referendum scheduled for September will be carried out. In particular, the bill establishes €5 million for electoral processes and €0.8 million for participation. Moreover, the budget also includes hidden allocations which would allow the referendum to take place despite the inevitable suspension of the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). In 2014, the budget also allocated €6 million oriented toward holding the 9-N symbolic vote in independence. At that time, the allocation was included within the Public Administrations department. However, this time the allocation would be an explicit competence of the Catalan Ministry for Economy and Tax Office. 

Prosecutor wants Mas to be banned from public office for 10 years for 9-N symbolic vote

October 3, 2016 06:33 PM | ACN

Catalonia’s Public Prosecutor requested this Monday 10 years of ineligibility for public office for the former Catalan President, Artur Mas, for organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014. Judges Francisco Bañeres and Emilio Sánchez Ulled also demanded a 9-year ban for the two other public figures summonsed over the same case, former Vice President Joana Ortega and former Catalan Minister for Education Irene Rigau. According to the judges, the three summonsed were “fully aware” that by preparing the non-binding consultation “they were breaking the mandatory rulings of the Spanish Constitutional Court” which urged the Catalan executive to stop the process four days before the 9-N took place. Mas considered the whole case “a chain of nonsense” and assured that “it is an honour to be sentenced by a Spanish State which doesn’t respect the separation of powers”.

Homs claims his sentence for organising the 9-N vote “has already been dictated”

September 19, 2016 04:20 PM | ACN

The former Catalan Minister and Catalan Democratic Party (PDC) spokesman in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, testified on Monday before the Spanish Supreme Court. The politician is being investigated for co-organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014. During his testimony the former Mminister stated that the consultation was “legal” because it “corresponded to the Catalan Parliament mandate”. Moreover, Homs claimed that the main Spanish institutions are not acting with autonomy but are rather “copycatting People’s Party interests”. “The sentence has been already been dictated” and “it is going to be condemnatory and not absolving”, said Homs with regret.

Supreme Court rejects Mas and Catalan Ministers' 9N appeals

September 15, 2016 07:09 PM | ACN

Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) has dismissed this Thursday the appeals filed by former Catalan President Artur Mas, former Vice-President Joana Ortega and former Catalan Minister of Education Irene Rigau against their prosecution for alleged crimes of disobedience and administrative prevarication when organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence. The Court magistrates believe that it is necessary to go on with the prosecution of the defendants for having authorised and co-organised the consultation, which took place on 9 November 2014. In its resolution, the TSJC insists on the “conscious resistance” of the three politicians to the Spanish Constitutional Court’s suspension of the participatory process. The resolution arrives three days before former Catalan Minister for Presidency, Francesc Homs, is due to testify in Madrid for the same cause.

Puigdemont “will do the same” as previous Government regarding the 9-N consultation

September 15, 2016 06:42 PM | ACN

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, stated this Thursday that he “will do the same” as the previous Government did regarding the 9-N symbolic vote on independence, which took place in 2014. “If the Government has to make decisions in a comparable situation, we will do exactly the same and assume responsibility before those who believe that the Rule of Law is not reinforced by participation but through the Court”, he said. Puigdemont made this statement, joined by Catalan Vice President, Oriol Junqueras, after meeting with former Catalan Minister and Catalan Democratic Party (PDC) spokesman in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, who is due to testify before the Supreme Court for co-organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence.

Mas and several Catalan Ministers to accompany Homs in his statement before the Court

September 14, 2016 06:31 PM | ACN

Former Catalan Minister and Catalan Democratic Party (PDC) spokesman in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, will have to testify before the Supreme Court for co-organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014. Before that, however, he will receive the institutional support of the Catalan Government, the board of the PDC and that of several pro-independence associations. On Monday, when Homs is due to appear before the Court in Madrid, he will be joined by former Catalan President, Artur Mas, who was also summonsed for organising the 9-N, Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté, Catalan Minister for Culture, Santi Vila and Catalan Minister for Public Administration Meritxell Borràs.