Spain wants to claim criminal liability against Parliament’s President

July 29, 2016 02:25 PM | ACN

The Spanish Government will urge the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) to allow it to claim criminal liability against the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, for having disobeyed the TC’s rulings. The current Spanish Cabinet, which met this Friday, also agreed to impede Forcadell from launching the pro-independence roadmap approved on Wednesday by the Parliament. In particular, the Spanish executive calls for the TC to “proceed to consider the witness of particulars in order to claim criminal liability against the Parliament’s President for disobeying the rulings of the TC, which all public servants are compelled to obey”. The petition also aims to expressly ban the Parliament’s President, the Parliament Bureau and the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, from promoting any initiative in relation to the pro-independence process. 

Spain responds to Parliament’s vote on pro-independence roadmap by appealing to the TC again

July 27, 2016 07:10 PM | ACN

The Spanish Government has again turned to the court, this time to respond to this Wednesday’s approval of the pro-independence roadmap by the Catalan Chamber. Current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, has already ordered the State Attorney to write a document which will be approved this Friday by the Spanish Cabinet. The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) repeatedly insisted that any declaration or action towards the constitution of the Catalan Republic will be invalidated, since this would have emerged from the pro-independence proposal agreed by the Parliament on the 9th of November and which is considered unconstitutional by the TC. Rajoy also called the other main leaders in the Spanish Parliament to communicate to them his decision.

Parliament approves a “democratic unilateral mechanism” to split from Spain

July 27, 2016 06:56 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The conclusions of the Committee to Study the Constitutive Process, which worked to establish the next steps to take in Catalonia’s roadmap towards independence, have been approved this Wednesday by the Catalan Chamber. The majority of 72 pro-independence MPs from governing cross-part list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP supported the conclusions, including one of the most controversial points: launching a “democratic unilateral mechanism which will allow the calling of the Constitutive Assembly”, the body which will be responsible for writing the Catalan Constitution. Thus, the Parliament has ignored the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC)’s warnings that called for impeding any action regarding the constitutive process of a Catalan republic. Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ and the Conservative People’s Party (PP) described the vote as a “farce” and showed their opposition by leaving the Parliament.  

Next steps on pro-independence roadmap put to vote, despite TC claims of illegality

July 27, 2016 12:51 PM | ACN

The Parliament finally accepted to include the conclusions of the Committee to Study the Constitutive Process, which established the next steps in the pro-independence process, in this Wednesday’s agenda. The decision comes amid controversy over the possible suspension by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC), which claimed that the points agreed by the Committee emerged from the 9-N agreed proposal, which was declared unconstitutional. “We are not doing anything illegal” stated Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, adding that he considered it “absolutely normal” for the Parliament to discuss the conclusions. In a similar vein, the pro-independence forces, governing cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP stated that they are due to the democratic mandate which emerged from the 27-S elections.

Prosecutor won’t sentence Mas, Ortega and Rigau to prison for the 9-N symbolic vote on independence

July 18, 2016 04:21 PM | ACN

Former Catalan President, Artur Mas, along with former Catalan Vice President, Joana Ortega and former Minister for Education, Irene Rigau won’t be accused for misappropriation of public funds in relation to the 9-N symbolic vote on independence. This is what the public prosecutor announced this Monday, after considering that the expenses related to the non-binding consultation were made before the suspension enacted by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). Nevertheless, the attorneys asked Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) to ignore the accused defences’ petition to file the case and summon the trio for the other crimes included in the lawsuit, which are alleged disobedience and perversion of justice.

TC partially suspends Catalonia’s state structures

July 7, 2016 06:33 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) has unanimously suspended some precepts of the law on fiscal measures which foresees the development of so-called state structures in Catalonia. In particular, the magistrates have considered unconstitutional the plan for the creation of the Catalan Tax Agency, the catalogue of strategic infrastructures and the plans for the energy and railway sectors, amongst others. The suspension, which has now been confirmed, affects the same articles which were temporarily annulled in June 2015 when the Spanish Government asked for legal action against Catalonia’s plans for the creation of state structures. Later, in November 2015, the TC accepted the appeal presented by the Spanish executive to stop the reform of Catalonia’s Tax Agency.


Spanish Constitutional Court partly lifts suspension on Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs

June 29, 2016 07:05 PM | ACN

The magistrates at the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) lifted the cautionary suspension against the functions and structure of the Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which they dictated five months ago. However, they have kept the suspension on the Ministry’s name. While they considered that the functions and structure of the department match the Catalan Government’s competences, as far as they are limited to “foreign projection” they still believe that the denomination of the ‘Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ could represent an invasion of the Spanish State’s competences on this matter. 

New Spanish Constitutional Court setback for pro-independence declaration

June 7, 2016 02:51 PM | ACN

Spain’s Constitutional Court (TC) has approved the appeals presented by Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and the Conservative Catalan People’s Party (PPC) in November in relation to the pro-independence declaration approved by the Parliament. The three parties presented writs of protection and considered that the pro-independence forces’ agreed declaration to start building a new country violated citizens’ right of participation and that of the parliamentary representatives, as the Spokesperson Bureau was convened before PPC constituted themselves as a parliamentary group. This Tuesday, the magistrates in the TC partially upheld the appeals. The content of the pro-independence forces’ agreed declaration was already suspended by the TC in December, and declared it unconstitutional and, therefore, invalid. 

Spanish Court suspends Catalan law’s articles oriented toward avoiding evictions

May 31, 2016 03:27 PM | ACN

The appeal presented in April by Spain’s executive calling for the suspension of some articles of the Catalan law against energy poverty has been accepted by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). In particular, the magistrates have cautionarily suspended 8 articles mainly oriented toward avoiding evictions. According to the TC, the suspension is automatic and therefore the magistrates “couldn’t do anything” but accept the Spanish government’s appeal. The Catalan Government’s Spokeswoman, Neus Munté, stated that this suspension was “to be expected”. The TC’s decision comes two days after thousands of people rallied in Barcelona to protest over the Spanish court’s measures against numerous laws passed by the Catalan Parliament. 

Spain takes part of the energy poverty Catalan law before the Constitutional Court

April 29, 2016 05:22 PM | ACN

Less than 24 hours after meeting with her Catalan counterpart, current Spanish Vice President Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría announced that some articles of the Catalan law against energy poverty will be taken before the Constitutional Court (TC). Thus, Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras’ demands for the Spanish executive to “reconsider” this procedure haven’t been listened to. However, Santamaría nuanced that those precepts which are in relation to guaranteeing the energy supply to those who may be at social risk are not affected by the suspension. On the other hand, some measures oriented toward avoiding evictions have been suspended. Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, responded by saying that this measure leaves “in the open” the most vulnerable families.  

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.

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.