Catalan separatists initiate independence process

Parties announce early stages of move to Catalan republic in 'disconnection' from Spain

Catalan separatists initiate independence process

World Bulletin / News Desk

Catalonia’s two pro-independence parties Tuesday declared the opening stages in creating an independent republic.

Shortly after the documents were made public, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he would guarantee the separatists would not leave Spain.

Last month, the Together for Yes and the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) parties won the majority of seats in the regional election, which they framed as a plebiscite on Catalan sovereignty.

Tuesday’s proposal registered at the regional parliament in Barcelona said the election give the Catalan government a "democratic mandate" to go forward with plans for independence.

The document described a 30-day period for formulating a constitutional process and new social security and tax laws.

The text made clear the parties did not intend to be swayed by Spanish law and declared the independence process "will not depend on the decisions of Spanish institutions, specifically the Constitutional Court" -- a body that it described as "delegitimized".

The proposal declared the intention to "open a massive, sustained and peaceful democratic disconnection from the Spanish state".

In an unplanned news conference, Rajoy said his government would enforce Spanish law.

"The state will not withhold the use of any political or legal mechanisms, which, in defense of the sovereignty of the Spanish people and the general interest of Spain, are granted to it by the Constitution and laws," he said.

The Spanish Constitution forbids any region from declaring independence.

Catalonia’s separatists also have other legal battles to deal with currently.

Catalan President Artur Mas is under investigation for his role in a symbolic referendum held in November last year. If convicted he could be banned from public office and imprisoned.

Members of Mas’ Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) -- part of the Together for Yes coalition -- also face corruption claims and on Tuesday police raided the homes of former Catalan President Jordi Pujol as part of an investigation into hidden family wealth, tax fraud and money laundering.

Last week, police arrested 10 people, including the CDC’s treasurer, in connection with an alleged corruption racket. It is claimed that companies paid kickbacks to the CDC for public contracts.

Mas has dismissed the corruption allegations and the charges against him. "CDC and I have become big-game trophies," he said last week.

Last Mod: 28 Ekim 2015, 15:06
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