Friday

2nd Dec 2022

Spain suspends independence bid, Catalans vow to go on

  • The Catalan regional government has vowed to move ahead with its 'disconnection' from Madrid (Photo: Parlament de Catalunya)

The battle about the relation between Catalonia and Spain shifted into a higher gear on Wednesday (11 November), as Spain's Constitutional Court granted the national government's request to suspend the Catalan parliament's independence resolution.

Spanish media report that 21 Catalan officials, including acting regional leader Artur Mas, could be suspended and face criminal prosecution if they try to implement the motion.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Spain's Constitutional Court suspended the Catalan parliament's independence resolution (Photo: Tribunal Constitucional)

For its part, Catalonia's regional government has already vowed to ignore the court ruling and move ahead with its plan to “disconnect” from Spain.

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy said he was “satisfied” with the court decision. Ahead of the verdict, he had called the Catalan text a “blatant disregard for the state's institutions.”

The future of the wealthy region in the northeast of Spain is in doubt after pro-independence parties won a majority in the regional parliament last September.

Tensions remain high as national parliament elections are less than six weeks away.

Wednesday's court's ruling was about a resolution which the Catalan parliament adopted on Monday (9 November), declaring “the beginning of the process of creating an independent Catalan state as a republic.”

Spain's constitution explicitly refers to the “indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation,” so it was no surprise the court would want to assess the constitutionality of the regional parliament's plans.

The drafters of the resolution had expected that the court might annul it, and questioned the court's legitimacy in the same resolution in question.

The court has not yet reached a decision, but unanimously decided to suspend the resolution while it considered the legal arguments. The court case was filed by Spain's central government.

“We're talking about the defence of an entire country. They are trying to liquidate the unity of a nation with more than five centuries of history,” noted Rajoy.

“They are trying to do away with democracy. I will not allow it.”

The evening of the court verdict, the Catalan government said it will continue with its secession process.

“The political will of the government of Catalonia is to go ahead with the content of the resolution approved Monday by the Catalan parliament,” said vice-president Neus Munte.

In a sign of gravity, the political situation even elicited a comment on Wednesday from Spain's head of state, king Felipe VI.

“These are complicated days,” said the monarch.

Opinion

EU must find solutions for Catalonia

Should the EU fail to come up with effective solutions for Catalonia, some of the bloc's flagship achievements could be significantly imperilled.

Catalonia separatists on EU charm offensive

Catalan authorities are trying to garner support from EU states and institutions, after nationalists swept to election victory on promise to hold independence referendum.

New elections loom in Catalonia

Majority in regional parliament agrees on independence bid, but on little else. Acting president Mas said he will call for elections on Monday.

Portugal was poised to scrap 'Golden Visas' - why didn't it?

Over the last 10 years, Portugal has given 1,470 golden visas to people originating from countries whose tax-transparency practices the EU finds problematic. But unlike common practice in other EU states with similar programmes, Portugal has not implemented "due diligence".

Catalan spyware victims demand justice

Victims of the widening spyware scandal in Spain are demanding justice and reparations, following the revelations that journalists, lawyers, civil society and politicians had been targeted.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. Belarus dictator's family loves EU luxuries, flight data shows
  2. How Berlin and Paris sold-out the EU corporate due diligence law
  3. Turkey's EU-funded detention centres ripe with abuse: NGO
  4. In green subsidy race, EU should not imitate US
  5. EU Commission proposes suspending billions to Hungary
  6. EU: Russian assets to be returned in case of peace treaty
  7. Frontex leadership candidates grilled by MEPs
  8. Portugal was poised to scrap 'Golden Visas' - why didn't it?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us