Spanish PM Requests High Court Recognize Bids on Catalan Independense Illegal

07 September, 2017, 01:52 | Author: Ora Austin
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The referendum law establishes an "exceptional judicial regime" that will prevail over any Spanish laws that come into conflict with the illegal independence referendum, and states it will safeguard those who participate in the vote.

Madrid meanwhile called on the country's Constitutional Court to declare the Catalan law null and void, describing the move by the Catalan parliament as "an act of force".

The votes of 72 pro-independence lawmakers were enough to pass the so-called "referendum bill" after more than 11 hours of debate that ended with 52 opposition members of parliament walking out in protest.

Wednesday's parliamentary debate in Barcelona saw tensions flare when the regional body's top speaker, Carme Forcadell, announced that the vote on the bill would go ahead without the customary vetting of a legal committee. But the majority of Catalans do want the opportunity to vote on whether to split from Spain.

Caroline Gray, an expert on Spanish independence movements at Britain's Aston University said Madrid could have defused the rising separatist tide had it offered Catalonia a new financing deal a few years ago.

"What is happening in the Catalan parliament is embarrassing, it's shameful", Spain's deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told reporters in Madrid.

But a referendum in defiance of Spain's rule of law, without the blessing of central authorities, has inflamed controversy.

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The controversial law also defines the details of the referendum, such as the question, which will be: "Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a Republic?".

The report, which cited judicial sources, came a day before Catalonia is expected to approve plans to hold an october 1 referendum on a split from Spain.

"If Catalonia were to leave Spain, then Barcelona would have the luxury of choosing which League they wished to participate in".

If the region pushes through with the referendum, it will move even further on its path towards a collision course with the national government, which has repeatedly argued that any attempt to break away from Spain is illegal and will not be recognised.

The vote comes about three weeks after Barcelona and a nearby town were struck by Islamist attacks that killed 16 people and caused the Catalan and Spanish governments to present a brief united front.

The vote in parliament is expected to ratify the bill late on Wednesday as the government has a majority made up of the separatist Junts pel Si (Together for Yes) coalition and the left-wing CUP party.

Opponents of independence for the wealthy northeastern region of Spain greeted the decision with jeers.

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