From 15:25 last Friday afternoon, when the Catalan Parliament made its unilateral declaration of independence, events have speeded up. Three hours after the solemn, but sad proclamation, the Republic of Catalonia disappeared into thin air. Mariano Rajoy dissolved the regional parliament and fired Carles Puigdemont’s government by implementing Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution in the Senate. And the biggest surprise: a call for elections on December 21.
Whether it’s the initiative of the Catalan or Spanish government, Catalonia is this week heading for elections at the beginning of 2018. Some will say the elections are constituent towards obtaining independence and the new Republic of Catalonia. Others will hold the view that they are autonomous elections under the protection of the 1978 Spanish Constitution. In fact what they will be are elections to clarify the current real political map in Catalonia.
Hay Derecho Joven Editors and Javier Cuairán García) | While Mr. Jordi Sánchez, president of the Assamblea Nacional Catalana, and Mr. Jordi Cuixart, president of the Ómnium Cultural, known as the Jordis were sent to preventive prison without bail, Josep Lluís Trapero, the Mayor of the Catalan police Mossos, was granted provisional liberty without bail.
For the moment, Russia considers what’s happening in Catalonia as an internal issue and the country’s television channels are focusing on the violence in the region, without getting to the political issue itself. For the time being. Except if the problem stops being a domestic one and – for whatever reason- becomes an international one.
The next chapter of the “Catalan saga” was revealed today. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has now warned that on Saturday article 155 of the Constitution will be implemented to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy. And amid this endless craziness, Puigdemont says that if this finally happens, the declaration of independence will be declared.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont had until 10 am on Monday 16 October to clarify whether he has declared independence or not. As was widely expected, he answered PM Mariano Rajoy in an ambiguous way, with neither a clear yes nor a no. He has until Thursday at 10 am to avoid the government applying article 155 of the Constitution.
We have reached the next stage in the Catalan crisis. Rajoy’s government – with the agreement of Pedro Sánchez and the Cs – has requested that Catalan president Puigdemont clarifies whether or not there has been a declaration of independence. Otherwise, article 155 of the Constitution will be implemented, implying a limitation on the region’s autonomy. Against this backdrop, Spaniards’ confidence is being eroded.
In a surprisingly statesman-like manner, Carles Puigdemont performed a balancing act in respecting the referendum result, safeguarding his support from the independence movement, and avoiding total escalation with Spain.
After confusing messages from Catalan government about yesterday unilateral but at the same time suspended independence declaration, the Spanish PM Rajoy has decided to trigger Article 155 which will be used to suspend the regional administration and take direct control of Catalonia.
A few days ago, a week ago, the unilateral and seditious declaration of independence in Catalonia seemed to be on the cards, almost inevitable in fact. But the King’s speech last Tuesday and the demonstrations in Barcelona and other cities involving both Spaniards and Catalans have changed the dynamic of the process.