Thursday, November 12, 2015

Catalan Government Vows to Go Ahead with Secession Process

The Catalan government has announced it will go ahead with the secession process from Spain, despite a court ruling blocking the motion.

Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the Spanish government has filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court to block the Catalan parliament’s move towards independence.

The Generalitat, the regional assembly, voted Monday 72-63 in favor of beginning a formal process of secession, to be completed within 18 months, which was backed by pro-independence parties Junts pel Si and Popular Unity Candidacy.

In a press conference in Madrid announcing the court proceedings on Wednesday, Rajoy made an impassioned defense of Spanish unity.

"It's not just a reaction to a motion passed in parliament, this is about defending a whole country," he said.

“I am not going to accept that some people liquidate the rules, democracy and convenience that we have handed out between everyone.”

The president, whose Spanish Popular Party faces re-election this December, warned that the government will act with “firmness and proportionality” should the Catalan parliament disobey the Constitutional Court ruling.

After independence parties won most seats in recent Catalan parliamentary elections, which former Catalan president Mas declared to be a proxy vote on secession, Catalans began proceedings to begin the “road map” towards separation with Spain.

But while the “Yes” parties technically achieved an absolute majority in September’s elections — Mas’s independence coalition Junts pel Si won 62 seats, and left-wing supporters of a unilateral declaration of independence, Popular Unity Candidacy party (CUP), won 10 — the two forces combined won only 48 percent of the vote. Junts pel Si alone won nearly 40 percent, which the Spanish president argued weakens Mas’s mandate to push for secession...

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