Spain court suspends Catalonia's parliament session over independence motion

by Antonio Miles October 6, 2017, 0:24
Spain court suspends Catalonia's parliament session over independence motion

A Constitutional Court ruling is now in effect, forbidding any referendum from taking place.

Upholding a challenge by Catalonia's Socialist party, which opposes secession from Spain, the court ruled that allowing the regional parliament to meet and declare independence would violate the rights of the party's MPs.

The leader of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, said he was not afraid of being arrested for organising a banned referendum on the region's independence from Spain, which went ahead on Sunday despite Madrid using force to try to stop people voting.

The separatist parties have a slim majority in the parliament.

Representatives of the Catalan authorities claim that the independence of the region made almost 90% of the people who voted on Sunday. We respect the Spanish Constitutional Court's decision that Sunday's vote was not legal, and this is an internal matter for Spain.

The regional government said 42 percent of the electorate voted on Sunday, with 90 percent of those backing independence.

Lawyers representing the regional parliament had also warned that the session would technically be illegal because it planned to discuss the results of a referendum that had been previously suspended by the Constitutional Court.

The Spanish government - under Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy - has stressed that they are open to multi-party talks between them and Catalonia to sort out any issues such as the tax deal.

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Catalan authorities and the Spanish central government are at odds over the legitimacy of the vote.

In an interview with EFE, Spain's national news agency, Mr. Rajoy did not offer to hold talks with separatists, and instead said that "the best solution, on which I think we all agree, is a return to legality".

If negotiations are still to come, however, it is not clear who will mediate this political crisis.

Call for help: Catalonia called for the European Union to help it gain independence, Quartz reported. Bloomberg Businessweek says Catalonia's struggle for independence may only be the beginning of similar movements across Europe.

With its own language and cultural traditions, demands for independence in Catalonia date back centuries but have surged during recent years of economic crisis.

King Felipe's speech strongly accused the nationalists of undermining the Spanish constitution and intentionally breaking the law in their latest independence bid.

On Wednesday, in a televised address, Puigdemont renewed his call for global mediation but said the results of the referendum would have to be applied. If they have commented on last weekend's events - in while hundreds of independence protesters were injured in scuffles with the Spanish police - European leaders and officials have called for calm.

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