No Catalan referendum says Spanish Justice Minister

Spanish Justice Minister talks about recent developments on Catalonian independence, the 2008 global economic crisis, ETA and the controversial abortion bill.

No Catalan referendum says Spanish Justice Minister

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Spanish government will not allow a referendum on independence for Catalonia, Spanish Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz Gallardon has told Anadolu Agency.

Gallardon told AA that such a move would "not be constitutional. It will be illegal. There will be no law enforcement. The constitutional court will cancel this decision as it did before".

He added: "There is no conflict between the Spanish government and Catalonia. The problem is with nationalist Catalans. So the side which should resolve the problem, are them [nationalist Catalans]. They want to violate the constitution accepted by all of us."

Referring to the 1978 constitution, he said, "Catalonia was one of the places, which supported this constitution the most. The Catalan people had accepted this constitution with much more excitement than the rest of the Spanish people. So this constitution does not allow only a small group of people to decide in behalf of the entire people."

Spain 'more competitive'

He said that the economic crisis, which has affected the country since 2008, had ended, adding: "However, let’s be frank: The country will not be able to return to a pre-crisis level.”

Stating that Spain would have a "sustainable economy", he also emphasized the country was not going to create pre-crisis employment.

“It will take time to decrease unemployment,” he said.

The minister noted that the country had made "very important” employment reforms and savings.

“Those steps turn Spain into a more competitive country. I think export is the new engine of the economy and we begin to understand that,” Gallardon said.

Commenting on ETA, the Basque separatist group, which announced a “definitive cessation of its armed activity” in Spain in 2011 and said it would continue its activities politically, Gallardon said that although there were no terrorist activities in Spain “the terrorist organization ETA” still existed.

“Democracy has won a war against terrorism,” he said. “The democratic society, which consists of the majority in Spain and the Basque region, has won a war against terrorism."

'Great victory'

Gallardon said that the government had stated the announcement by ETA to stop fighting was not enough, adding: "ETA should disband itself and disappear."

“Disbanding ETA is rewarding, as it shows that using armed force is not profitable,” the minister said, claiming that ETA should understand that, not only it has no future, but also its past was a mistake which had dire consequences.

“A democratic society should never reward the outcome of 30-years of terrorism,” he said.

ETA's violence has lasted more than 40 years and left more than 800 people dead.

Referring to the controversial abortion bill which will only allow abortion in cases of rape or if the fetus shows signs of severe deformities, Gallardon said: "The bill was demanded by the public."

Abortion 'a tragedy'

"We had this bill in our election campaign. All the voters knew that. And all citizens chose us as a stand-alone power. Therefore we should fulfill this provision which was given to us directly by the citizens," he declared.

Stating that "abortion is a tragedy", Gallardon said: "So we need to solve this problem by providing those who experience that tragedy with the least compensation."

On 20 December 2013, the bill entitled: “the organic law for the protection of the life of the conceived and the rights of the pregnant woman”, was adopted by the Spanish Council of Ministers and is now pending parliamentary debate.

Gallardon, indicating that the People's Party (Partido Popular) would lead the European Parliament Election in Spain, said: "The public's lack of interest in European elections worries us."

"As of today, the most influential decisions will come from Brussels," Gallardon added.

The 2014 European Parliament election in Spain will be held on 25 May to elect a 54-member delegation from Spain to the European Parliament.

Last Mod: 01 Nisan 2014, 12:11
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