Defiant Catalans to move step closer to independence (The National)
Article by Greg Russell
NINE months after the Catalan parliament resolved to begin the process of creating an independent state, its government is vowing to do it with or without approval from Spain’s central government in Madrid.
Last month’s Spanish election left conservative prime minister Mariano Rajoy short of the 176 seats required to form an administration and his talks with the Spanish Socialist Party have so far failed to form a coalition government.
Now, the Catalan government is preparing to defy Spain’s constitutional court by debating the findings of a working group on sovereignty, nine months after the Catalan parliament set out its 18-month roadmap to independence.
Catalan foreign affairs minister Raul Romeva told The National: “Today, the Parliament of Catalonia approved procedures for drawing up a constitution for the Catalan Republic.
“The Parliament, as the symbol of the Catalan people’s sovereignty, has approved the conclusions of the work that has been carried out by a special parliamentary committee over the last six months, in accordance with the democratic mandate given to the pro-independence parties who won a majority in Catalonia’s elections last September. Now it is up to Catalonia’s government to find ways to implement the committee’s recommendations, and advance in the effective exercise of our sovereignty.”
He said this was in response to the “will of the Catalan people expressed peacefully and democratically”, but he was critical of the continuing hostility shown by Madrid.
“Hostility towards Catalan institutions has been clear, as well as contempt for the basic democratic mandate from the Catalan people,” said Romeva. “There have been no political voices in Madrid in favour of finding ways to reach an understanding with Catalonia.