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. 

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".


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.

Spain's government strategy to stop the independence declaration

November 10, 2015 07:26 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The independence declaration approved by the Parliament this past Monday will in the end be taken before the court. The Spanish Council of State has unanimously approved the appeal that the Spanish government presented to the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) and considered the independence proposal to violate four articles of the Spanish Constitution. According to the Council, it is an attempt against Spain's "national sovereignty", "the indivisible unity of Spain" and "the subjection of the public powers to the law", besides other articles of the Catalan Statute of Autonomy. Spain's public prosecutor’s office also commented on the declaration and warned that the police have been called to investigate and denounce any "sedition crime" against Spain's government, referring to the Parliament's foreseen disobedience to the TC's resolutions.

Spokesperson Bureau convened for this Tuesday to reactivate the pro-independence proposal

November 2, 2015 02:25 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, has convened the Spokesperson Bureau for this Tuesday, even though Catalonia’s People’s Party (PPC) haven’t yet constituted themselves as a parliamentary group. The aim is to respond to the appeals made by Catalan Socialist Party PSC and Anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans, which have urged reconsideration of the approval of the pro-independence forces agreed declaration on starting the independence process. The decision to convene the Spokesperson Bureau, and reactivate the debate on the proposal, arrived after PPC’s handed over of a writ of protection before the Spanish Constitutional Court. According to PPC’s leader, Xavier García Albiol, they took such an action to “avoid the celebration of the plenary session”to debate the pro-independence proposal as “it is absolutely outside of the basic rules of democracy”.

Spanish Constitutional Court Law reformed to suspend those who don’t comply with its rulings

October 16, 2015 03:10 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Spanish Senate approved this Thursday the reform of the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) Law to be able to fine and suspend from office those public servants, politicians and authorities who don’t comply with its rulings. The reform proposal was announced a month ago by the People's Party (PP) leader in Catalonia, Xavier García Albiol, and was approved as a matter of urgency. Albiol stated that this amendment to the Constitutional Law will work as a barrier to dissuade “anybody from declaring Catalonia’s independence”. According to the Spanish executive, the new law will "guarantee" that the TC stops "those who want to break Spain" from doing so. The entire opposition has described the reform as "an electoral act" and accused the PP of "manipulating the Spanish justice system with political motivations". The reform was approved with 143 votes in favour, 80 against and 1 abstention and will become effective in the following days, once it is published in Spain's Official Journal (BOE). 

Spanish Constitutional Court suspends law for expanding Catalonia’s Tax Agency

September 14, 2015 06:13 PM | ACN / Shobha Prabhu-Naik

Catalan government spokeswoman, Neus Munté, stated that the suspension will be appealed and described the decision as “another example of asphyxia and re-centralisation”. The Catalan reform stipulated that all those civil servants who wanted to apply for a position in the entity, would need to have permanent positions in Catalonia. The Constitutional Court (TC) considered the new law to have violated the right of all Spanish citizens to access the entity under the same conditions. 

PP’s reform of the Constitutional Court is a threat “to the rule of law”, warns Mas

September 2, 2015 01:33 PM | ACN

The Catalan President, Artur Mas, recognised that he is the target of the law reform that the conservative People’s Party (PP) announced on Tuesday, which he described as a threat to the rule of law. The project aims at the Court being able to suspend or fine politicians who disobey Constitutional Court rulings. According to the PP, it is unconstitutional to ask Catalans if they want to separate from Spain, let alone to declare independence. Mas stated that the PP “wants to destroy the rule of law” with this decision that he regarded as an old-fashioned way of doing politics more proper of “the Inquisition” than of a democratic country. President Mas will appear before the Parliament this afternoon to defend his decision to call elections on the 27th of September. The Catalan President will answer questions from members of parliament about the poll, which pro-independence groups consider as a ‘de facto’ referendum on independence. The PP has also warned that it will ask Mas about the Spanish Guardia Civil search that took place last week in the headquarters of his party CDC and the President’s party Foundation CatDem.