Overturning of bullfighting ban in Catalonia outrages 37 MEPs from different parties and countries

October 27, 2016 07:41 PM | ACN

The possibility that bullfighting could return to Catalonia by imposition of the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) has outraged 37 MEPs from five different parties. The signatories of a joint declaration, promoted by Catalan Eco-Socialist ICV MEP, Ernest Urtasun, point out that “animal torture can’t be considered as a cultural expression” and describe bullfighting as “an unfair activity, which is sadistic and despicable”. The initiative is supported by MEPs from Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Holland, Austria and the Catalan MEPs Josep Maria Terricabras (ERC), Ernest Maragall (ERC), Ramon Tremosa (PDC), Javi López (PSC) and Francesc Gambús (Independent). On the 20th of October, the TC annulled the prohibition to host bullfighting in Catalonia after considering that the Parliament “exceeded its competences” and “restricted the citizens’ rights and freedoms” when banning bullfighting in 2010.

Government guarantees bullfighting won’t return to Catalonia “regardless of the Constitutional Court”

October 20, 2016 06:27 PM | ACN

The Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Josep Rull, assured that the Government will do everything in its power to keep the ban on bullfighting in Catalonia, which has been reversed this Thursday by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). Rull insisted that the executive’s will is to have “a country in which those shows which imply death and animal torture will not be allowed”. The civic platform 'Prou!' (“Enough!” in Catalan), which presented the Popular Legislative Initiative to the Parliament that led to the prohibition of bullfighting in Catalonia, also reacted to the TC’s decision. The platform considered it “a shameful return to the past” and described it as a “political decision”. The TC considered the Parliament to have “exceeded its competences” and “restricted the citizens’ rights and freedoms” when banning bullfighting in 2010 and defines bullfighting as an “intangible cultural heritage”.

Spanish court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia

October 20, 2016 02:12 PM | ACN

The ban on bullfighting in Catalonia, approved by the Parliament in 2010 and effective since 2012, has been suspended this Thursday by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). Eight of the eleven magistrates in the court considered that the prohibition to host bullfighting in Catalonia “restricted the citizens’erights and freedoms”. Moreover, the TC emphasised that it is for the Spanish state to regulate this “intangible cultural heritage”nand “guarantee its preservation”. Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Josep Rull, insisted on the executive’s commitment to preventing “shows which imply animal suffering”hfrom taking place in Catalonia and assured that bullfighting won’t return to Catalonia. Bullfighting has been, for centuries, presented by Spanish nationalism as ‘the national fiesta’, the utmost celebration of Spanish pride. In other Autonomous Communities, such as the Canary Islands, bullfighting has been banned for decades.


Spanish Prosecutor urges to file complaint against Forcadell for disobedience

October 17, 2016 06:48 PM | ACN

Spain’s Public Prosecutor, Consuelo Madrigal, urged Catalonia’s Supreme Prosecutor, José María Romero de Tejada, to file a complaint against Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell. Madrigal accused Forcadell of alleged perversion of justice and disobedience for allowing the pro-independence roadmap to be put to vote in July. However, she dismissed the misappropriation of public funds, which dispels the possibility of applying criminal charges. Thus, the Catalan Supreme Court (TSJC) will be in charge of these proceedings, together with those for the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014, which have to resolve whether former Catalan President, Artur Mas and former ministers Joana Ortega and Irene Rigau are liable for ignoring the TC’s resolutions and allowing the 9-N to take place.

Spain takes Catalan referendum bill to Constitutional Court

October 14, 2016 06:55 PM | ACN

The Spanish Council of Ministers approved this Friday to submit a complaint against the bill proposing a Catalan referendum on independence in 2017 to the Constitutional Court (TC). The Spanish executive requests the TC to declare null the proposal passed by the Catalan Parliament on the 6th of October last during the General Policy Debate and to temporarily suspend it. Furthermore, in its report the executive also urges the magistrates to transfer the case to the Prosecution Office so that criminal proceedings against the President of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, can be opened. The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, reacted to the measure and stated that the Spanish reaction was “predictable” and did not come as a surprise. In a press conference held in Madrid on Monday, the politician asked once again for dialogue. Puigdemont also said this Friday with regret that the Spanish Government response is always “a string of contestations".

Catalan Government and Parliament receive Constitutional Court suspension of pro-independence roadmap

October 11, 2016 06:38 PM | ACN

The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont and the Parliament’s, Carme Forcadell, received this Tuesday the notice issued by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) which suspends the conclusions of the Committee to Study the Constitutive Process. Four deputy clerks delivered the documents which warn that if the Parliament and the members of the Parliament’s Bureau ignore the resolution they “will be liable for responsibility, including criminal charges”. The TC also urges the Public Prosecutor to proceed with the corresponding actions against Forcadell. Last August, the TC suspended Catalonia’s pro-independence roadmap, ratified by the majority of the Parliament, claiming that the conclusions of the Committee to Study the Constitutive Process, the group responsible for designing Catalonia’s strategy towards independence, violated the Spanish Constitution. 

TC urges to open a criminal case against Catalan Parliament President

October 6, 2016 06:49 PM | ACN

The Catalan Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, may face criminal proceedings. The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) has this Thursday upheld the complaint issued by the Spanish Government and has urged the Public Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether Forcadell committed a penal crime when disobeying the TC’s rulings and allowing the pro-independence roadmap vote last July. The resolution of the TC, approved by unanimity, asks to open criminal proceedings but does not contemplate the dismissal of Forcadell, a measure the TC could apply after a People’s Party (PP) reform in 2015 gave it the power to do so.  

Government evades Spanish Court suspension and passes anti-eviction law

October 4, 2016 06:44 PM | ACN

The Catalan bill oriented toward avoiding evictions and facilitating mediation when the families involved are at social risk has been modified in order to dodge the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) suspension. The Catalan Government passed a new draft this Tuesday which aims to put to use the stockpile of empty apartments and guarantee the relocation of those families who can’t pay the rent. “The present text is legally impeccable” stated Catalan Minister for Public Administration and Housing, Meritxell Borràs. However, she admitted that the “Spanish Government is likely to put a spoke in our wheels”. The Government aims for the Parliament to pass the draft immediately, so that it can come into force this October. 

27-S elections look back: A year of pro-independence majority in the Parliament

September 27, 2016 07:20 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

This Thursday is the first anniversary of the Catalan Elections of the 27th of September 2015, which led to the first pro-independence majority in the Parliament. Cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’, which gathered together representatives from civil society and politicians such as left wing ERC’s leader, Oriol Junqueras, former MEP Raül Romeva and former President Mas, amongst others, won the elections, obtaining 62 MPs in the 135-seat Catalan Chamber. However, they didn’t obtain an absolute majority and negotiated with radical left pro-independence CUP, who got 10 MPs, in order to have a majority in favour of independence in the Catalan Chamber. After Mas failed twice to be invested as President, since CUP repeatedly refused to support him, former Mayor of Girona and President of the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI), Carles Puigdemont, emerged as the candidate of consensus. Then, a term of office defined as ‘exceptional’ started, with the aim of launching a pro-independence roadmap and putting in place the basis for the future Catalan Republic.

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.

Pro-independence CUP accuses Spanish Constitutional Court of promoting a “coup d’état”

August 8, 2016 06:46 PM | ACN

The current situation of judicialisation of politics in Catalonia and the obstacles that the Spanish executive puts in the way of the pro-independence roadmap “are similar”to previous episodes “of military coup d’états”in Spain, stated CUP MP, Anna Gabriel. The representative of the radical left pro-independence party told the CNA that the Catalan institutions haven’t been “threatened by criminal means”so much for “many years”and she predicted that such threats could be increased “if the pro-independence process continues to move forward”. Thus, Gabriel considered that it would be “ridiculous”to appeal the Spanish Constitutional Court’s decision to suspend the pro-independence roadmap, ratified last week by the Parliament, since “those who take part in the coup d’état don’t come to reason”. 

Catalan Government: “Spanish Constitution can’t be understood as a Criminal Code”

August 2, 2016 06:37 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté warned this Tuesday that the “Spanish Constitution can’t be understood as a Criminal Code” and insisted on the Government’s commitment to “obey the democratic mandate of the 27-S Elections” and launch the pro-independence roadmap. She made these statements one day after the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) decided to suspend Catalonia’s plan to disconnect from Spain and opened the door to applying criminal charges to the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, for allowing the approval of the conclusions of the Committee to Study the Constitutive Process. According to Munté, the TC should be “a referee” in charge of settling “the constitutionality of the laws” rather than “an executor court”.

Pro-independence parties ready to disobey Spain's resolution

August 1, 2016 06:31 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) decision to suspend Catalonia’s roadmap towards independence, which was ratified last week by the Catalan Chamber, won’t stop the launching of the Constitutive Process of the Catalan Republic. This is what radical left pro-independence CUP stated this Monday. Moreover, Regarding the possibility that the TC may suspend the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell as well, CUP MP Anna Gabriel warned that this would represent “a point of no return”for the Spanish state and that this would require “a countrywide response”. “We will remain faithful to the Parliament and if we have to disobey we will do so”, stated pro-independence left wing ERC’s spokesman in the Spanish Parliament Joan Tardàand lamented the “authoritarian way”and the “judicial violence”used by the Spanish state.

Spanish Constitutional Court suspends pro-independence roadmap

August 1, 2016 02:47 PM | ACN

The magistrates of the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) held this Monday an emergency meeting and unanimously agreed to accept the appeal presented by Spain’s executive, which urged to suspend Catalonia’s pro-independence roadmap, the next steps of which were approved last week by the Parliament. By the end of August the TC will decide if it will apply prison charges to the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell. The 72 pro-independence MPs in the Catalan Chamber and the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, have expressed their solidarity with Forcadell and insisted that the decision to pass the conclusions of the Committee to Study the Constitutive Process was not hers but the democratic and majoritarian will of Catalans. 

Catalan Government: “We won’t move from our deeply democratic way”

July 29, 2016 06:39 PM | ACN

Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté responded this Friday to Spain’s decision to take the Parliament’s approval of the pro-independence roadmap before the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). Munté considered it “unacceptable” that the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, could be suspended and insisted that the Catalan executive “won’t move” from its “deeply democratic way”. She insisted that Catalonia’s roadmap towards independence “remains intact” and stated that “no court could be higher than the democratic will democratically expressed” in the 27-S Catalan elections. “It would be unprecedented that the president of Parliament could be suspended from office by a court decision”, she stated.