Spanish government to block Catalan independence initiative in court

Wed, 27 Mar 2024 6:48 GMT
Despite claims otherwise, government spokesperson insists there will be no independence or referendum.
Spanish government to block Catalan independence initiative in court

The Spanish government announced on Tuesday that it will challenge a Catalan bill proposing a unilateral declaration of independence in the Constitutional Court. 

Earlier this year, the Catalan politicians gave the green light to move forward with a popular initiative that suggests the region should declare independence from Spain.

Spanish ministers agreed to challenge the bill in the court, which will also effectively paralyze it.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Justice Minister Felix Bolanos emphasized that “in no case do we (the government and the Socialist Party) support the independence and isolation of Catalonia in respect to Spain and the rest of Europe.”

His comments come days after Marta Rovira, secretary general of the major separatist party ERC, told Spanish daily La Vanguardia that her party was in talks about an independence referendum with Spain’s ruling Socialist Party.

Socialist politicians have firmly denied her claim.

On Tuesday, Bolanos explicitly said Rovira was not telling the truth due to upcoming elections and reproached her party for returning to “old formulas of conflict and collective failure.”

Catalan voters will go to the polls on May 12 in snap elections.

Spain’s government has come under heavy criticism for passing the amnesty bill, which drops non-violent criminal charges for those involved in the Catalan independence push.

Bolanos emphasized that challenging the Catalan bill for independence is “coherent” with the government’s approach that focuses on “dialogue, living in harmony and protecting the Catalan institutions.”

However, Patricia Plaja, the spokesperson of the Catalan government, slammed the government’s decision to tie up the legislation in courts.

“To us, it seems like the government hasn’t learned anything… trying to restrict and limit parliamentary debate will never be a solution,” she said, according to La Vanguardia, accusing the Socialists of “overreacting against independence” for their own “electoral interest.”


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