Saturday, November 15, 2014

Spain will not negotiate and might take the Catalan Government to court

After the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, urged the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, "to sit and talk" about taking the necessary steps to allow Catalans to hold a legal independence referendum, the Spanish Government totally rejected the idea on the same day. On top of this, Spain's Public Prosecutor's Office – whose head is appointed by the Spanish Justice Minister and directly reports to him – is about to file a judicial complaint against Mas, the Catalan Vice President and, probably, the Catalan Minister for Education for November 9's democratic citizen participation process, in which 2.3 million Catalans gave their opinion on independence through ballot boxes located in public high-schools. 

On Saturday, the Public Prosecutor Office already announced it was investigating the organization of Sunday's vote. However, judges did not stop the vote from happening on Sunday and the Constitutional Court rejected the opportunity to hold an urgent meeting on Friday to give further explanations and ask ordinary judges to act. On top of this on Saturday Rajoy had acknowledged that Sunday's democratic participation process "was not a referendum, nor a non-binding referendum, nor anything similar", as Mas pointed out on Tuesday. However, despite this statement, the Spanish Government filed the appeal to the Constitutional Court stating that Sunday's democratic participatory process was "a hidden referendum"

In addition, the Catalan President criticised the fact that some member of the People's Party (PP) had announced on Monday and Tuesday that the Public Prosecutor's Office was about to file a judicial complaint, questioning separation of powers in Spain. 
Saez de Santamaria

In front of the Spanish Senate, on Tuesday afternoon, the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, stated that November 9's democratic participatory process was "a failure"
Despite the process having taken place in a calm atmosphere with 2.3 million citizens casting their vote through a system that made sure that people could not vote twice, as was certified by independent observers, the Spanish Deptuy PM downplayed it once again. In addition, she accused the Catalan President of "ignoring the law" and of using "politics as an excuse". In this vein, she rejected Mas' offer to talk, which was confirmed on Tuesday morning. Sáenz de Santamaría highlighted that the Spanish Government "will not negotiate on the sovereignty of all Spaniards" and "will not negotiate any secession". "Stop playing", she urged Mas.

Besides, judicial sources confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that the Public Prosecution Office is about to take the Catalan President and some members of his government to court. Apparently the complaint is almost ready and will be filed on Wednesday, after many speculations about it. 
Politicians from the People's Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government, even announced such a complaint on Monday and Tuesday morning, which seriously questions the independence of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Spain. In fact, the head of this office is directly appointed by the Spanish Government and directly reports to the Spanish Minister of Justice. The complaint might be against the Catalan President, Artur Mas; the Vice President, Joana Ortega, who was in charge of the ballot boxes and announced the vote results; and the Catalan Minister for Education, Irene Rigau, who authorised using high-schools to set the polling stations. However, some sources state that Rigau could be not targeted by the complaint in the end. Furthermore, the Catalan Minister for Home Affairs, in charge of the Catalan Police, could also be left out of the complaint.

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