Thursday

30th Mar 2017

Spanish parliament rejects Catalan independence bid

  • The Catalan National Assembly wants the region to declare independence from Spain by 23 April next year (Photo: Paco Riviere)

Spain’s parliament on Tuesday (8 April) overwhelmingly rejected Catalonia’s bid to call for a referendum on independence.

There were 299 votes against a proposal by Catalan leader Artur Mas to have an independence poll. Only 47 MPs from the Catalan and Basque nationalist parties voted in favour of the petition. One MP abstained.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Centre-right Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told the deputies before the vote that he could not “conceive of Spain without Catalonia nor of Catalonia outside of Spain and Europe.”

Spain's governing centre-right Partido Popular and the socialist opposition party have argued the referendum would breach the country'S 1978 constitution.

Rajoy says polls on sovereignty must be held nationally, a position backed Spain's constitutional court.

The court last month ruled a change in the constitution would be required for the unilateral poll to take place.

But Mas after the parliament vote said his regional government would anyway go ahead with the referendum, set for early November, reports the BBC.

“Some would like to present this as the end of the matter but, as president of Catalonia, I say to them that it is not the end,” he said.

Polls suggest around half of Catalans are in favour of independence.

The region, which accounts for more than 20 percent of Spain's GDP, wants greater control over its own economy, social services, and politics.

Snap elections in Catalonia last November saw separatist politicians take some two-thirds of the 135 seats in the Catalan parliament.

The parliament in December said the referendum would ask voters if they want Catalonia to be a state or an independent state.

Pro-separatist defenders say the north-eastern region has the legal right to organise a referendum after Spain’s parliament granted it an autonomy statute in 2006.

“From this painful 'no', the Catalan institutions will seek to build legal frameworks, and there are several, allowing for this November 9 ballot to take place,” said Mas, reports the AFP.

The European Commission, for its part, says an independent Catalonia would have to reapply to become a member of the European Union.

Poland snubbed twice in EU summit fiasco

[Updated] Poland tried and failed to block EU summit conclusions shortly after failing to block Tusk’s re-election as Council chief, prompting bitter accusations.

Rome summit tries to restart EU momentum

EU 27 leaders in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of Treaty of Rome, in bid to counter rising challenges after Brexit. But new ideas are scarce.

News in Brief

  1. UK publishes 'Great Repeal Bill' plan to replace EU laws
  2. Scots share May's vision for Brexit deal, survey says
  3. Coalition talks leader expects Dutch government by summer
  4. EU commission allows ex-member Hill to join law firm
  5. Reuters: Greece and lenders move closer to deal
  6. Italy: Le Pen win would mean 'permanent political risk'
  7. Danish parliament misinformed on Nord Stream 1
  8. UK delivered its Article 50 letter to the EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  2. The Idealist QuarterlyCan Progressive Stories Survive Our Post-Truth Era? After-Work Discussion on 6 April
  3. ACCAG20 Citizens Want 'Big Picture' Tax Policymaking, According to Global Survey
  4. Belgrade Security ForumCall for Papers: European Union as a Global Crisis Manager - Deadline 30 April
  5. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  6. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  7. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  9. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  10. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  11. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy