spanish constitutional court

Catalan and Spanish vice presidents meet amid controversy over the recent suspension of several Catalan laws

April 28, 2016 06:27 PM | ACN

Catalan Vice President, Oriol Junqueras met this Thursday with his Spanish counterpart Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría in what Junqueras described as a “very cordial but very difficult” encounter. One of the main subjects laid on the table revolved around the recent suspension of several Catalan laws by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). In reference to this, Junqueras accused the TC of acting according to “political interests” rather than considering those of the citizens and asked Sáenz de Santamaría to reconsider the suspension of the Catalan law against energy poverty, as they announced a few weeks ago. Junqueras regretted that the Spanish executive is only temporary “when it is in their interest”. Junqueras, who is also Catalan Minister for Economy and Tax Office, also referred to Catalonia’s deficit target set by the Spanish government and described it as “unfair, arbitrary and far from what citizens deserve”.

Two more Catalan laws taken before the Spanish Constitutional Court

April 25, 2016 07:02 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) has partially admitted an appeal made by the Spanish government which considered unconstitutional the Catalan law which bans ‘fracking’ in Catalonia and the regulation against building department stores of more than 800 m2 in urban areas. Regarding the prohibition of ‘fracking’, the Catalan law foresaw the prohibition of this well-simulation technique in which rock is fractured by a pressurised liquid “when it may have negative effects on the geologic, environmental and socioeconomic characteristics of the area”. However, the TC considered that it “invaded competences of the Spanish state”.So far, there have been 33 acts approved by the Catalan government and Parliament which have later been taken before the Constitutional Court.

Parliament reaffirms the pro-independence proposal approved on the 9-N

April 7, 2016 05:09 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The pro-independence forces in the Catalan Parliament, governing cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP, reaffirmed this Thursday the agreement to start building the Catalan Republic, which was approved by the Catalan Chamber on the 9th of November and later suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). Both parties have supported the motion presented by CUP which aimed to relight the proposal. Thus, 71 MPs of the 135 sitting in the Parliament voted in favour, while the 11 MPs from alternative left ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ have abstained. Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’, Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and Catalan People’s Party (PPC), which is the Catalan branch of the conservative and current governing party in Spain PP, voted against the motion. “We are here to do what we said we would do” stated ‘Junts Pel Sí’ MP, songwriter and anti-Franco activist, Lluís Llach. On the other hand, PPC’s Xavier García Albiol stated that the vote didn’t mean anything as “Catalonia will continue to be Spain, whether you like it or not”.

Government to open new delegations in Portugal, Vatican City and Morocco

March 30, 2016 02:30 PM | ACN

Three new Catalan government delegations will be opened during this term of office. According to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Jordi Solé, the new delegation in Lisbon will be in full operation “in the following months” while those planned for the Vatican City and Morocco are still pending deployment by the Government. Although these three new delegations have already been appealed by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC), Solé insisted on the “key role” that these institutions play in Catalonia’s foreign affairs strategy and emphasised the government’s will to “continue deploying Catalonia’s institutional representation in the world”. The Catalan government already has seven delegations abroad, as well as three more projected in the short-term and some others to be opened in the near future.

The government won’t obey the TC’s regarding Catalonia’s foreign action

March 17, 2016 07:12 PM | ACN

Spain’s executive has repeatedly insisted on the alleged illegality of the new Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs and has taken its creation and competences before the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). The Catalan government decided to change the name of this department as a “preventive measure” to avoid the TC taking further measures against it but the Spanish executive again appealed and urged the TC to suspend the Ministry, “regardless of the denomination”, after considering that its competences “remain unchanged”. This Thursday, the Parliament has decided that they won’t obey the TC’s cautionary suspension of the new Ministry, the opposite to what the Catalan People’s Party (PP) and Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ urged the government to do.

Spain takes the committee to study the constitutive process of a potential Catalan Republic before the court

March 3, 2016 06:44 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) accepted the appeal presented by the Spanish executive against the Parliament’s committee to study the constitutive process of a potential Catalan Republic. According to current Spanish vice president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, the Catalan Government’s first aim was to make it “a legislative” committee but they decided to turn it into a “study committee” in view of its possible unconstitutionality. Furthermore, Spain’s state attorney believes that by launching this committee the Parliament would not be fulfilling the TC sentence which suspended the pro-independence proposal approved in the Catalan chamber on the 9th of November.

The Government changes the name of the Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs in order to “move on”

March 1, 2016 03:03 PM | ACN

The Catalan government has decided this Tuesday to change the name of the Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, amid the controversy with the Spanish executive and after the recent suspension of the department by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). The new name is to be the ‘Affairs and Institutional Relations and Foreign Affairs and Transparency’. “We have made this decision in order not to stop” stated Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva. The pro-independence party ‘Junts Pel Sí’s top member and former MEP also assured that the government “won’t stop doing” foreign action and insisted that “neither the functions nor the responsibilities” of the department have changed.

The Spanish Constitutional Court has suspended the Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs

February 17, 2016 10:22 AM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) has accepted the appeal presented by the Spanish executive to suspend the new Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Thus, the department lead by pro-independence cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ top member, Raül Romeva will be suspended at first for five months, which is the period that the TC has to study whether the new Ministry is in line with the Spanish Constitution. Earlier this month, the current Spanish vice president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, and current Spanish Minister for Justice, Rafael Catalá claimed that the Catalan government had exceeded the competences in matters of foreign action specified in the Catalan Statute of Autonomy. For his part, the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont assured that Catalonia “will continue to do foreign action”and defended the legitimacy of the new department. 

Rajoy may take the processing of the laws to start Catalonia’s disconnection from Spain before the court

February 4, 2016 06:54 PM | ACN

The current Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, announced that the processing of the three laws which would prepare Catalonia for its disconnection process from Spain may be taken before the court. According to Rajoy, Spain’s legal services will analyse these laws and if evidence that they “could contradict what it is said in the Constitution” is found “the Spanish government will act as is has done up to now”. “The government is temporary, but the State, the Constitution and the laws are still in force” he warned. Rajoy also announced that the executive will approve this Friday a conflict of jurisdiction to be presented to the Spanish Constitutional Court regarding the creation of the new Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs. 

Spain to take the Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs before the court

January 22, 2016 06:58 PM | ACN

The Spanish government’s acting vice president Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría announced that the competences of the new Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be taken before the court. The commission to study the constitutive process of a potential Catalan Republic, which was approved on Thursday during the new government’s first plenary session, will also be appealed. Spain’s executive believes that both actions violate competences of the Spanish government. On the other hand, Spain’s executive will not impugn new Catalan President Carles Puigdemont’s taking office, during which Puigdemont didn’t mention Spain’s King nor the Spanish Constitution. 

Independence declaration ultimately suspended

December 2, 2015 07:26 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The magistrates of the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) have unanimously declared the Parliament's declaration of independence unconstitutional and, therefore, invalid. The TC has considered that the agreed pro-independence proposal approved by the Parliament on the 9th of November violates core articles of the Spanish Constitution, such as "the indivisible unity of Spain" and "the subjection of the public powers to the law" and also "attacks the Rule of Law". The TC has made its decision only 22 days after the appeal presented by the Spanish executive was accepted, which makes this resolution the fastest in the TC's history. On the other hand, the appeals against Spanish Government's abortion reform, led by People's Party (PP), are waiting for a resolution since 2010.  

Spain bans Catalonia's Tax Agency from hiring civil servants from other administrations

November 25, 2015 07:06 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) announced this Wednesday the acceptance of the appeal made by the Spanish government to stop the reform of Catalonia’s Tax Agency. The TC declared “invalid and unconstitutional” article 4 of Law 9/2015, which stipulated that all those civil servants who want to be eligible for a position in the body would need to have permanent positions in Catalonia. According to the law reform, those “officials who are assigned duties substantially matching those of the body and who already hold permanent positions within Catalonia’s borders”would be eligible to voluntarily join the Catalan Tax Agency through specific selection processes. The Spanish government’s appeal claimed that the proposal was against “the right of all Spanish citizens to access the entity under the same conditions”.

Parliament to appeal the suspension of independence declaration

November 24, 2015 07:40 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Catalan chamber will present a plea against the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC)'s suspension of the independence declaration. The Parliament's Bureau approved this on Tuesday, with the support of pro-independence 'Junts Pel Sí' and alternative left coalition 'Cataluna Sí que es Pot's 5 members of the Bureau. The Bureau’s two Anti-Catalan nationalism representatives, from Ciutadans and the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), voted against the proposal. "We don't understand that a jurisdictional body could stop democracy" stated Parliament's first vice-president and 'Junts Pel Sí' MP, Lluís Corominas. According to Ciutadans' representative in the Parliament's Bureau, José María Espejo, the declaration of independence "did have an unconstitutional component" as it stated that "only those laws approved by the Catalan Parliament would be obeyed".


Spain's King: "The Constitution will prevail"

November 12, 2015 07:21 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

On the day after the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) suspended the Parliament's declaration to start the independence process and the same day that the official notification arrived at the Parliament, Spain's King Philip VI has guaranteed Spain's unity. "The Constitution will prevail" he stated and added that Spain "won't allow that its unity could be questioned, as it is the base of its people’s peaceful and free coexistence". "It is not the time to go back to the past" stated Spain's King "but to reaffirm ourselves in our compromise with a present and a future full of shared progress and democratic coexistence". "As head of the State" he concluded "I will always be by all Spanish citizens' side". Spain's King made these statements during a ceremonial event of the 'Marca España' ('Spain Brand') initiative, during which many personalities from the cultural, economic and sporting spheres were honoured by Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García Margallo. 

Spanish Constitutional Court suspends Parliament's declaration of independence

November 11, 2015 08:22 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) unanimously approved the appeal presented by the Spanish Government to suspend the Parliament's declaration of independence. The TC will now apply article 161.2 of the Spanish Constitution, which establishes the automatic suspension of any resolution appealed by the Spanish Government, and suspend the declaration, initially for five months. The approved appeal also warns Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, current President Artur Mas and all the members of the executive and Parliament's Bureau that those who won't adhere to the TC's resolutions could be fined or suspended. In this vein, Spain's public prosecutor’s office announced on Tuesday that all the police bodies in Spain, including the Catalan Police, had been urged to investigate and denounce the possible "sedition crimes" committed in Catalonia.