Monday

9th Dec 2019

Catalan MPs kick-start Spain 'disconnection'

  • 'We want a state because we believe in a welfare state and we want to preserve it,' separatist leader Romeva said (Photo: Parlament de Catalunya)

Barcelona and Madrid are heading for a clash after the Catalan Parliament on Monday (9 November) approved a resolution to kick-start the creation of a Catalan state by 2017. Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed to stop the move by all legal means.

The regional parliament voted 72 in favour and 63 against for a resolution that “solemnly declares the beginning of the process of creating an independent Catalan state as a republic.”

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

The resolution also calls for the parliament to start legislating, within the next 30 days, on a Catalan social security system, a treasury, and on laws to create the state institutions that would have to be ready once independence is declared.

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy, who is facing a general election on 20 December, immediately announced he will do all in his power to stop Catalonia from “disconnecting itself” from Spain.

“My government will not allow this to continue,” he said in a press conference after the vote. “We are determined to use all the methods the rule of law gives us to defend our democracy.”

'We want to express ourselves'

On Wednesday (11 November), Rajoy’s government will ask the Spanish Constitutional Court to “immediately suspend” the Catalan resolution.

Ultimately, the Spanish government could suspend the autonomy of Catalonia according to an article in the Spanish Constitution. “I hope I do not to have to do it,” Rajoy added.

However, the resolution approved Monday also states that the independence process “will not be subject to decisions made by the Spanish state, particularly by the constitutional court.”

“We want a state because we believe in a welfare state and we want to preserve it,” said Raul Romeva, head of Junts pel Si (Together for Yes), the biggest party in the Catalan parliament, and a former green MEP.

“We want a state because we want to express ourselves and participate in European and world affairs,” he told the parliament. “It is time to go full speed ahead.”

Junts pep Si and the radical left CUP are the two parties making up the pro-independence majority in the Catalan parliament since the September regional election.

However, they still have to form a government, amid disagreement on who who should preside. This week the parliament will also discuss who will lead Catalonia's independence process.

In Madrid, national parties are eager to show their muscles ahead of the December election.

Rajoy's Popular Party has united with the opposition Socialist Party and with up-and-coming centre-right party Ciudadanos on a stance against any moves towards independence.

Left-wing party Podemos has declined to take participate in the front.

They said that although they would prefer Catalonia to stay with Spain, they would allow Catalonia to hold in an independence referendum if they were voted in.

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.

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.

Ombudsman raps EU institutions on Catalonia

The EU Ombudsman's office says declarations by members of the EU institutions about the consequences of potential independence reflect no more than their "personal view".

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.

News in Brief

  1. Greece denies access to fair asylum process, report says
  2. Report: Self-regulation of social media 'not working'
  3. Turkey: Greek expulsion of Libyan envoy 'outrageous'
  4. Merkel coalition may survive, says new SPD co-leader
  5. Von der Leyen Ethiopia visit a 'political statement'
  6. Over 5,500 scientists ask EU to protect freshwater life
  7. Iran defies EU and UN on ballistic missiles
  8. Committee of the Regions: bigger budget for Green Deal

Wilmès becomes first female PM of Belgium

On Sunday, Sophie Wilmès was appointed as the new prime minister of Belgium - becoming the first female head of government in the country's history. She replaces Charles Michel who becomes president of the European Council.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. Russia makes big promises to Arctic peoples on expansion
  2. UK election plus EU summit in focus This WEEK
  3. Migrants paying to get detained in Libyan centres
  4. Searching for solidarity in EU asylum policy
  5. Will Michel lead on lobbying transparency at Council?
  6. Blood from stone: What did British PR firm do for Malta?
  7. EU Commission defends Eurobarometer methodology
  8. Timmermans warns on cost of inaction on climate

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  2. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  3. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us