Carles Puigdemont goes head-to-head with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Puigdemont’s latest plot could be interpreted as a declaration of war by Spains Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the PP.
The Catalan government’s plans to break away from Spain took a step forward last Wednesday after the regional parliament approved reforms to its statutes that will allow laws to be passed after a single reading, meaning legislation required for the holding of the October 1 independence referendum could be approved very quickly with very little debate.
Opposition parties argued the reforms breach the Spanish Constitution.however, the reform was supported by the ruling Junts pel Sí coalition and the radical left CUP.
The change would allow the pro-independence Junts pel Sí and CUP parties to request draft bills related to the independence process be given a single reading that would not require agreement by all sides for approval. This would actually prevent the opposition from presenting amendments or exercising control over the procedure. The vote last Wednesday was uneasy, with just 72 deputies from Junts pel Sí and CUP voting in favor, and 63 opposition members voting against it.
Joan Coscubiela, described the reform as an attack “on the essence of parliamentary democracy.” Alejandro Fernández of the P P went further, accusing Catalan regional premier Carles Puigdemont and his supporters of implementing “a lunatic strategy.”
Anna Gabriel of CUP dismissed the criticism, saying: “Can’t you see that your discourse has no credibility because it is incoherent to defend the rights of deputies and minorities but not the right of self-determination.”
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has pledged he will not allow the referendum to go ahead. However, the assumption now is that the fast-track procedure will be used at the session scheduled for September 6 to approve the legislation required to carry out the referendum. Puigdemont in defiance to Rajoy says he will go ahead on 1st October, despite the total opposition of the central government in Madrid.
It remains to be seen whether the new law will be used to approve the so-called transition laws before October that set out the procedures for breaking away from Spain in the event of popular support for independence.
Last Wednesday’s Parliamentary session was the last before the summer holiday, but deputies will return on August 16, rather than the usual date of September 1, allowing time for other initiatives to be debated ahead of the September 6 session.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is expected to lodge an appeal before the Constitutional Court after the Friday Cabinet meeting, which would suspend the law approved on Wednesday for a maximum of five months. That said, Puigdemont believes that nothing can now delay the momentum of the independence referendum, which is set to be approved at the September 6 session in the Catalan regional parliament.