The Parliament of Catalonia declares independence
DIPLOCAT – The declaration of independence urges the government of Catalonia to open a negotiation with Spain and to promote international recognition
Today the Parliament of Catalonia has approved the declaration of independence in a plenary session of Parliament, which “constitutes the Catalan Republic, as an independent, sovereign, democratic, and social State under the rule of law” with 70 votes for, 2 abstentions, and 10 against. Ciudadanos (C’s), Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and People’s Party (PP), parties opposing independence, left the plenary session before the vote as a protest.
The speaker of the Parliament, Carme Forcadell, has read the declaration and then its effects were voted along with the steps for the activation of the constituent process. The text proposes the constitution, with a fifteen-day term, of the consultative council for the constituent process along with the parliamentary follow-up commission of the process.
Application of article 155
Before the Parliament session started, the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, appeared before the Senate to ask for the application of article 155 of the Constitution. This article allows for the intervention of the Catalan government along with the Catalan Parliament.
He also asked for the destitution of the president and the entire Catalan government. Rajoy said that “there is no alternative” to the application of article 155 and has made Puigdemont responsible: “It was him and only him“.
Simultaneously, the Spanish Public Prosecutor has announced that it will sue the members of the Catalan Parliamentary Board for rebellion if they allowed a declaration of independence to be processed. The Senate has approved with 214 votes in favour, 47 against, and 1 abstention, to implement measures proposed by the Spanish government within the framework of article 155.
Lack of guarantees
On Thursday, the Catalan president and the members of the Catalan government had agreed their disposition to call for elections in the case that the Spanish government did not apply the measures laid out in article 155. But the Spanish government assured that it would maintain the measures covered by this article.
As a consequence of this, president Puigdemont, who had intended to appear at midday to explain the decision, halted the signing of the decree calling for elections and passed the decision onto the Parliament. “I have tried to obtain guarantees. I believe that I have acted responsibly, but I have not obtained a responsible action from the People’s Party […]. It falls upon the Parliament to do that which its majority considers appropriate to answer the measure of article 155”, he said.
· Full Official Statement by President Carles Puigdemont in the Catalan Parliament (10 October 2017)
· Report ‘Catalonia in a de facto state of exception after Spanish anti-referendum operation’ (report in pdf) (21 September 2017)
· Report ‘Catalan independence on pause in order to de-escalate tensions’ (report in pdf) (10 October 2017)
· Report ‘Dialogue once again met with threats of formally suspending Catalan home rule’ (report in pdf) (19 October 2017)
· Report ‘Spanish Government triggers Article 155: Uncharted legal territory ahead’ (report in pdf) (24 October 2017)
· Report ‘Madrid does not offer guarantees that Catalonia’s self-rule would be respected’ (report in pdf) (26 October 2017)
· Report ‘The Parliament of Catalonia declares independence’ (report in pdf) (27 October 2017)