Oct 1 referendum “politically” relevant, says Podemos leader in Catalonia
“The conflict is between democracy, or no democracy,” states Albano Dante Fachin
“The conflict is between democracy, or no democracy,” states Albano Dante Fachin
Some 64% of activists in the Catalan branch of the left-wing party are in favor of the referendum and calling on the public to take part
Catalan wing of Podemos calls for big turnout on October 1 to protest Spanish government’s ‘obstinacy’ but insists vote is non-binding
Denying the right of Catalan citizens to decide their political future is “denying democracy”, the 'Anticapitalists' warn
The leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, admitted on Friday that “all democrats should be scared” at the tone that the current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, is using with Catalonia. After Rajoy and other members of his cabinet accused the Catalans of planning a “coup d’état” for organizing an independence referendum, Iglesias said that the Spanish conservatives “are capable of anything”. “It would be counter-productive to use force” against the Catalan Government, warned Iglesias, who accused the PP of not being “up to the task” of leading Spain and facing its “multinational reality”. In an interview with radio RAC1, Iglesias said that calling a unilateral referendum on independence in Catalonia is a “legitimate” option but insisted that only a “legal” vote with “international recognition” would allow the Catalans to really become independent.
The Spanish Government is willing to “dialogue” with the Catalan Government, but has closed the door to a self-determination referendum, because it “liquidates the essence of the [Spanish] nation”, said the Spanish Vice President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, this Wednesday. Requested by the Catalan Socialist MP Meritxell Batet and the spokesman of the Spanish alternative left party Podemos, Iñigo Errejón, to permit reform of the Constitution in order to respond to Catalonia’s independence movement, the politician stated that to do so “requires consensus on the point of departure and arrival”. Furthermore, she stressed the necessity to achieve “an agreement on the diagnosis of the problems and the solutions”, a goal that currently is not possible given the disagreement seen in the Spanish Parliament, she added.
Alternative left alliance ‘En Comú Podem’ renounced having its own political group in the Spanish Parliament and will therefore be inscribed within the ‘Unidos-Podemos’ Confederal Group, their partner in Spain. ‘En Comú Podem’ gathers together members from Catalan Green-Socialist party ICV, the Catalan branch of the Spanish party ‘Podemos’ and representatives from the 'En Comú' candidacies, which won significant mayoralties in the last local elections, for example that of Barcelona, with social activist and now Barcelona mayor Ada Colau as its strongest asset. ‘En Comú Podem’ obtained12 MPs in the Spanish Parliament, representing the majoritarian option of Catalans in last month’s elections. On the other hand, the other two partners of ‘Unidos Podemos’ in the Valencian Community and Galicia, ‘Compromís’ and ‘En Marea’, will seek to have their own group in the Spanish Chamber.
Alternative left alliance ‘En Comú Podem’, which won the Spanish Elections in Catalonia this Sunday, aims to be in the opposition in the Spanish Parliament and dismissed the possibility of holding new elections in Spain. The results in the whole of Spain, where the Conservative People’s Party won and obtained 135 MPs in the 350-seat Spanish Parliament, will probably force the parties to reach agreements in order to form government. ‘En Comú Podem’s leader, Xavier Domènech doubted whether Spain could form a “government of change” between the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and Alternative left ‘Podemos’, as he considers the other required parties, pro-independence left-wing ERC, Liberal Convergència and the Basque National Party, PNB, to be “not very likely to get involved” and ultimately join this alliance.
The Spanish Elections prove that Spain remains unchangeable, according to Catalonia’s pro-independence parties. “The only change possible is through building an independent and republican Catalonia”, stated Catalan Vice President and pro-independence ERC’s leader, Oriol Junqueras, in reference to alternative left ‘En Comú Podem’, who have repeatedly insisted on holding a referendum on independence agreed with Spain. In this vein, Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont noted that the possibility of ultimately holding a referendum “is not in good health” and lamented that “nothing has changed” in Spain. On the other hand, the leader of the PP and current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, celebrated his victory in Madrid and assured that his party “will defend all Spaniards”. The Conservative leader pointed out that “democrats and freedom” have won the election.
Alternative left coalition ‘En Comú Podem’ has won the 2016 Spanish Elections in Catalonia. The party, which has Barcelona mayor Ada Colau as its strongest asset, obtained 12 MPs, the same number of MPs as in the last Spanish Elections, held in December 2015. Pro-independence left-wing ERC also repeated the same results as 2015, with 9 seats and CDC, which ran under the name ‘Democràcia i Llibertat’ in the last Spanish Elections, also got the same result and obtained 8 MPs. The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) added one seat to their 7 existing seats in the Spanish Parliament, the Conservative People’s Party (PP) got 6 MPs, one more than in the last Elections, and Spanish Unionist Ciutadans was the only party to lose a seat and has now 4 MPs. In the whole of Spain PP again won the elections and improved their results, with 137 MPs, 14 more than in December 2015. Thus, the political panorama in Catalonia and Spain remains the same as after the last Spanish Elections.
The time for the main Spanish parties to continue negotiating and agree to form new government appears to be coming to an end. To explore if any of the candidates is likely to obtain the necessary support to be invested as new Spanish President, Philip VI announced a new round of meetings to take place on the 25th and 26th of April. If the formations fail to reach an agreement and the investiture deadlock continues, the Royal Household will “procced to the dissolution of both chambers”, the Spanish Parliament and the Senate, “and call for new elections within the terms established by the Spanish Constitution”. Conservative People’s Party (PP) leader, Mariano Rajoy, has been acting as Spanish President since the 20th of December 2015, as elections showed a fragmented scenario, where none of the parties obtained an absolute majority nor achieved any agreement to form government.
The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, and Spanish alternative left ‘Podemos’Secretary General, Pablo Iglesias, met this Friday at Palau de la Generalitat. Iglesias assured before the media that he transmitted to Puigdemont his “compromise regarding the celebration of a referendum in Catalonia” which is “the best solution to the current deadlock”. “Catalan society has to decide and the vast majority of Catalans want to do so”, he stated. The Catalan government’s spokeswoman, Neus Munté, explained the content of the meeting to the media and emphasised “Puigdemont’s intention to keep the roadmap”towards independence “which will continue to be developed”regardless of the negotiations to form a new government in Spain. The meeting comes one day after the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’and Podemos met to discuss a possible triple agreement to form an alternative government to that currently ruling in Spain, composed by the conservative People’s Party (PP).
The European Parliament has approved a new Port Services Regulation (PSR) which grants each port the legislative power to regulate its own rates and internal structure. This new regulation could end the “hypercentralism” of the Puertos del Estado, the government-run sector which controls the ports in Spain. As the Port of Barcelona has seen more and more traffic in the last few years, this could allow for it to truly ¨thrive”, by allowing it to lower its rates to more competitive prices, and opening it to becoming a European port for international commerce. The conservative People’s Party (PP), the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), and Unionist Ciutadans all voted against the legislation.
Spanish Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez was rejected again this Friday by the Spanish Parliament. The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE)’s candidate to form a new government in Spain got only 131 votes in favour, from the 350-seat Spanish Parliament. As opposed to in the first round of the investiture debate, the MP from the Canarian Coalition (CC) voted in favour of Sánchez rather than abstaining. The other parties in the Spanish Parliament, the current governing party, the conservative People’s Party (PP), alternative left Podemos and Catalan pro-independence parties ERC and ‘Democràcia i Llibertat’ voted against his investiture, totalling 219 votes. Now it will be time for Spain’s King, Philip VII, to decide the further steps to be taken.