By a Newsnet reporter

The Catalan Parliament has ignored a ruling from the Spanish Constitutional Court for it to drop any independence referendum plans and has voted to press ahead and to set up a commission to set the terms of the ballot.

In response to a submission from the Spanish Government, the Spanish Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that the Catalan declaration of sovereignty, which was passed by the Catalan Parliament in January, must be suspended immediately.

The Constitutional Court now has five months, counting from March 8 when the Spanish Government presented its complaint, to analyse the question and to give a final ruling on whether the declaration is illegal.  The court, consisting of political appointees made by Madrid, has a conservative majority and is likely to rule in favour of the Spanish Government. 

In their submission, lawyers for the Spanish Government stressed that the Catalan people have no legal right to sovereignty, and that the hypothetical independence of Catalonia must be decided by the entire Spanish nation.  According to the Spanish Government, the Catalan declaration of sovereignty is “an open challenge to the constitution”. 

However despite the court ruling to suspend the declaration of sovereignty, the Catalan Parliament voted on Wednesday to ignore the Constitutional Court and to continue to act on the declaration, which proclaims the sovereignty of the Catalan nation and the right of its people to decide their own future. 

The declaration calls on the Catalan Parliament to set up a commission to set the terms of the planned independence referendum, which will most likely be held in 2014.  Hours after the court gave its ruling, pro-independence parties in the Catalan Parliament voted on Wednesday to set up the commission, despite furious opposition from the anti-independence parties the Partido Popular and Ciutadans.  The Partido Popular representatives refused to participate in the debate, declaring that the Catalan Parliament was in contempt of court.  

The President of the Catalan Parliament, Núria de Gispert, insisted on Thursday that the Catalan declaration of sovereignty remains in effect despite the court ruling.  Ms Gispert said in a statement that the declaration has no juridical effects, and therefore cannot be suspended by the court. 

She added that if the declaration of sovereignty was eventually ruled unconstitutional, it would call into question the democratic principle that elected bodies should be able to express the views of the majority of their democratically chosen representatives.

Ms de Gispert expressed her confidence that the Constitutional Court would not rule that the declaration was unconstitutional, saying: “I trust in the objectivity and the legal and technical expertise of [the Court’s] representatives.”

However she stressed that the sovereignty declaration “neither presupposes independence nor a [Catalan] state”, but rather limited itself to signalling that the Catalans have the right to be consulted on what future relations there ought to be between Catalonia and the rest of the Spanish state.

Meanwhile the government of Catalonia has said that it would seek EU intervention if necessary to protect the democratic right of Catalans to decide their own future.


2013-05-09 19:32

Gaun yersel’ Catalonia
2013-05-09 19:45

Aye Solidaritat folks, International Law disagrees with Madrid:…/…

2013-05-09 19:54

We went through a similar situation recently where we had the Westminster establishment and it’s press telling us that we didn’t have the right to hold a referendum despite a democratic mandate from the Scottish electorate to do so.
The McCrone report,however tells a different story,not so much that it shows the fear that Westminster had about Scots finding out that they had been conned again but the tacit admision that they accepted that Scotland would have the right to go it’s own way should we decide to do so.
The EU should embrace local democracy as this will maintain it’s future stability and ensure that it’s citizens are connected with political processes which reflect their views.
The poltical dynosaurs who still see the world through the prism of “big is good” as is the case with our Better Together cabal are shortly going to be irrelevant.
2013-05-09 20:46

Well done Catalonia and good luck! Hope to see some of you this year at the march for Scotland’s Independence (and at Lochearnhead Games again)
2013-05-09 21:13

Aye, the husband of an auntie, now deceased, of mine is buried at Tarragona.
Died on the Republican side in the war.
Let’s hope they don’t think of repeating history.
2013-05-09 21:42


Aye a time when they still had socialists in the Labour party. My old journeyman Jimmy Alexander was out there with the Glasgow Brigade. I wonder what he would have thought of New Labour?

2013-05-09 22:23

“the democratic principle that elected bodies should be able to express the views of the majority of their democratically chosen representatives  ” Hear Hear! I wonder how far the Spanish government will go to quash this. I wonder too if the British Government will be asked by the Spanish media to comment or give advice. I wish the Catalans well. We all deserve governments that represent our wishes, regardless of the self interest of others.
2013-05-10 08:55

All the very best to the Catalonianns met them at the Rally ,brilliant , inspiring folks 🙂
H Scott
2013-05-10 13:52

Well done Catalunya!
Ken Mac
2013-05-10 16:40

Catalunya lliure!
2013-05-10 17:30

Els catalans tenen collons….do hope we got our own back balls in sept 2014….Viva Alba Saor, Long live Free Scotland, Visca Catalunya lliure!

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