Independence of Catalonia: Spain’s constitutional court ruled

The court ruled that such a move on the part of the Catalans would be a “violation of the Constitution”.

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On Oct. 1, the Catalonia region of Spain held a referendum and voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence.

Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont lashed out at the government’s “catastrophic” handling of the crisis and said he was open to mediation.

The Catalan parliament had planned to formally declare independence from Spain on Monday, but its session has been suspended by the Spanish constitutional court.

The ruling upheld a challenge not from the government in Madrid but by the Socialists’ Party of Catalonia which opposes secession from Spain.

It said the parliament’s leaders could face criminal action if they ignore the court order.

Over 800 people were injured by the Spanish riot police during the Catalan independence vote Sunday, with police using rubber bullets and hitting people with batons to prevent Catalans from voting.

Forcadell called the court decision “an unusual and extremely serious event in a democratic Parliament” that violated “freedom of speech”.

Coma said Sunday’s turnout-greater than that of an informal ballot in 2014 according to Catalan officials-made the referendum result binding and the CUP was now mobilising local assemblies to begin the process of splitting with Spain.

The socialists won nearly 13 percent of the vote in the 2015 election, and have 13 MPs in the 135-seat regional parliament.

More than 2.2 million Catalonians – 42% of the region’s electorate – voted overwhelmingly to separate from Spain on Sunday. There have been several claims of irregularities.

The Spanish government in turn said it “strongly rejects the accusations” Puigdemont directed at the King.

Barcelona-based Caixabank, Spain’s third largest bank in global volume of assets was expected to study relocation plans in a meeting on Friday, as the government readied a decree to make it easier for Catalan companies to move their base.

Spanish markets were already recovering earlier in the day, but traders said the main share index and banking stocks jumped after the Bloomberg report which, citing sources, said moderate separatists were pushing for further negotiations with the central government.

The Catalan president also accused King Felipe of Spain of acting as a mouthpiece for the Spanish government after the monarch accused Catalan authorities of attempting to break “the unity of Spain”.

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Asked whether the parliamentary session will take place, Puigdemont told CNN on Thursday, “That is for Parliament to decide”.

People placed flowers outside polling stations which had been sites of violent clashes during the vote