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Rajoy gives another “no” to Catalonia and offers a banned Constitutional reform

April 8, 2014 11:56 PM | ACN

On Tuesday evening the Spanish Parliament rejected a motion to transfer to the Catalan Government the power to organise a specific non-binding self-determination referendum, using Article 150.2 of the Constitution. 86% of all Spanish MPs rejected a motion presented by the Catalan Parliament to this effect, which was backed by some two-thirds of Barcelona’s Chamber. The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy rejected the petition using his own interpretation of the Constitution, stating that Catalans could not possibly hold a vote on this issue within the current legal framework and therefore he could not authorise it. However, he pointed out that the Constitution could be reformed, although at the same time he has been blocking this way in recent years and has refused to talk about it. The Catalan representatives argued that allowing a self-determination vote was only a matter of political will.

Catalonia's self-determination process carries on despite the Constitutional Court's decision

March 26, 2014 08:47 PM | ACN

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, stated on Wednesday that the self-determination process will go on despite the Constitutional Court’s ruling against the 'Declaration of Sovereignty' the day before. Mas insisted that the process "continues", since it is based on its democratic legitimacy, it adheres to its peaceful nature and will use all the existing legal frameworks. On the same day, the Catalan Vice President, Joana Ortega, sent a letter to all the Mayors in Catalonia to ask for their "compromise and co-operation" in organising a self-determination vote. Besides, the Catalan Parliament has elected the 3 MPs who will go to Madrid and ask for the transfer of referendum powers using Article 150.2 of the Constitution.

Catalonia is not "a sovereign political and legal subject" states the Constitutional Court

March 25, 2014 10:15 PM | ACN

Spain's Constitutional Court has reached a unanimous decision against the Catalan Parliament's 'Declaration of Sovereignty', approved in January 2013 and appealed by the Spanish Government. In May 2013 the Constitutional Court put the Declaration on hold, temporarily stopping its implementation while it was reaching a definitive decision, which has happened this Tuesday evening. In the end the Court has declared the first part of the text, which stated that "the people of Catalonia is, for reasons of democratic legitimacy, a sovereign political and legal subject", "unconstitutional and void". However, it adds that the people of Catalonia have "the right to decide" but not "to self-determination", and it points out that the Constitution can be reformed. After months of internal debate and previous failed attempts to reach a consensus, the decision arrived a few hours after the Catalan Parliament had approved a motion to disqualify 3 of the 12 members of the Constitutional Court of not being impartial on this issue.

Spanish Parliament to answer Catalonia's petitions to transfer referendum powers on April 8th

March 19, 2014 08:13 PM | ACN

On Wednesday, the parties supporting the petitions to transfer to the Catalan Government the powers to organise referendums, using Article 150.2 of the Constitution, welcomed the Spanish Parliament's decision to fix the debate as early as possible, particularly before the summer break. The Catalan Parliament had approved a motion urging the Spanish Government for such a transfer in order to organise a self-determination vote. However, the Spanish Parliament might have scheduled the corresponding parliamentary debate in September or October. For this reason, the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) and the Catalan Green Socialist Party (ICV) filed their own petitions using their MPs in Madrid in order to speed up the debate. Finally, the Spanish Parliament's Board, controlled by the People's Party (PP), decided to group all the petitions and to hold a single debate on the issue in April.

Extreme right organisation files a criminal complaint against Catalan President for sedition and rebellion

February 20, 2014 10:36 PM | ACN

Manos Limpias, a Spanish extreme right-wing organisation, presented on Wednesday before Catalonia’ Hight Court (TSJC) a criminal complaint against the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, for the charges of perverting the course of justice, disobeying judicial authority, rebellion and sedition. According to the plaintiffs, the Catalan President is using all means available to achieve Catalonia’s independence. The far-right union mentions the creation of new ‘state structures’, disobeying the Constitutional Court by giving statements that point towards holding a self-determination vote and violating the Spanish Constitution. In the complaint, Manos Limpias is demanding Mas to be interrogated as a suspect while several Catalan politicians would be witnesses.

Catalonia requests the Spanish Parliament to transfer powers to organise referendums

January 16, 2014 06:50 PM | ACN

The Catalan Parliament has approved a resolution to formally request the Spanish Parliament to transfer the powers to organise referendums to the Catalan Government, following Article 150.2 of the Constitution. This mechanism will allow the Catalan Executive to directly call a self-determination referendum, a similar formula to the Scotland case. 87 MPs (64.4% of the Parliament) have backed the proposal and 43 MPs (31.8%) have voted against it. The 3 MPs of the radical left-wing and independence party CUP have abstained, arguing they do not think Spain has anything to say on Catalonia’s self-determination. Furthermore, 3 MPs from the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) have also backed the text, breaking the party leadership’s instructions. This vote is a true earthquake for the PSC, which might eventually split up.

Parties supporting the self-determination vote explain the agreement reached

December 12, 2013 07:46 PM | ACN

The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), led by Mas and running the Catalan Government, emphasised that “today we are writing history”. In addition, the Christian-Democrat force within the two-party coalition CiU, UDC, highlighted that having an “inclusive and clear” question was possible. The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) recognised it was not their preferred question but it is now theirs it directly asks about independence. The Catalan Green Socialist and Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA) pointed out that the question also suits those defending a Catalan State within a federal Spain. The radical left-wing and independence party CUP accepts the question in order to have the widest possible pact. The parties appeared together before the press to present the pact and answer questions, joined by the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, who announced the question and date.

The political summit for Catalonia's right to self-determination decided to include civil society

May 7, 2013 02:28 AM | CNA

However, the participating political parties could not agree on a plan to organise a self-determination vote: some would like to combine the organisation of the vote with the creation of state structures while others ask for neutrality and refuse to identify self-determination as a solution to Catalonia’s economic crisis. The President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), Artur Mas, called for a summit to discuss ways to obtain the right to self-determination and be able to organise a referendum on this issue. All the parties supporting self-determination, including the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), participated in the meeting, as well as the Catalan Government, the four Provincial Councils and representatives from town halls.