Spain takes steps to counter Catalan separatism

Spain's conservative government presents reform to increase powers of Spain's Constitutional Court

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain and leader of the People's Party.

Updated Sep 5, 2015

Prime Minister of Spain, has advocated a contested judicial reform on Thursday, which makes it possible to suspend Catalonian leaders, if they continue to go ahead with a secession plan for the affluent region.

Spain's conservative government, introduced the reform on Tuesday. It is believed that reform will improve the strength of Spain's Constitutional Court, to ensure its rulings are met. The move is aimed directly at Catalonia.

Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy's Popular Party, has an extensive majority, which permits the court to fine and even suspend public servants and authorities who do not follow the rules properly.

The proposal must be confirmed by the parliament before it can affect.

In November 2014, Artur Mas, President of Catalan pushed ahead with a symbolic independence referendum, this measure would have allowed the court to suspend the President of Catalan, if it had been in affect in 2014.

On September 27, Catalonia will hold a regional election, week following the regional election the government wants the parliament to vote on the reform.

If pro-secession parties win majority, their goal will be to split from Spain within 18 months, said Artur Mas.

President Rajoy said the reform was "crucial to strengthen the rule of law."

"This reform is what is most reasonable in a situation like this, where there is a gentleman who announces the creation of parallel state structures and who, if he wins the election, will declare independence unilaterally," he stated in an interview with Cope radio.

"In no case will there be independence for Catalonia, it is madness," he also added.

Popular Party was accused of "electioneering" and "attacking democracy" with the reform, by the main opposition Socialists, for drawing up the reform without consulting other parties.

Judges are assigned to the Constitutional Court by the government, and according to left-leaning daily newspaper El Pais, seven of the 11 judges are conservative.



TRTWorld and agencies