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Spanish court blocks second law linked to Catalan referendum

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Spanish court blocks second law linked to Catalan referendum

By Inmaculada Sanz

 

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A banner reading "Independence Now" is carried as thousands of people gather for a rally on Catalonia's national day 'La Diada' in Barcelona, Spain, September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera

 

MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish court has suspended a Catalan law that outlined a legal framework for an independent state, a court source said on Tuesday, the day after hundreds of thousands rallied in Barcelona to support secession from Madrid.

 

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government is increasing the pressure to prevent an independence referendum, scheduled for Oct. 1, from going ahead. It has declared the vote illegal and challenged laws linked to the ballot in the courts.

 

The Constitutional Court, Spain's highest authority on such matters, suspended the law while judges consider whether it is against the country's constitution. It suspended a law approving the Oct. 1 vote last week.

 

The Catalan parliament approved both laws on Wednesday in a move which brought a long-running tussle between the pro-independence regional government and the Madrid-based central government to a head.

 

Rising tension between Madrid and Barcelona has prompted some investors to ditch Spanish sovereign debt.

 

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who faces criminal charges for his role in organising the referendum, only has the power to call an election not a referendum, a government spokesman said on Tuesday.

 

"If Puigdemont wants to consult the people, it's very simple, he should call an election," government spokesman and Minister of Education, Culture and Sport Inigo Mendez de Vigo told Antena 3 television.

 

Polls have shown support for independence waning in recent years with those wanting a separate state in a minority. However, a majority of Catalans want to vote on the issue.

 

Most of Catalonia's 948 mayors have pledged to permit use of public spaces for the vote, but Ada Colau, head of the region's biggest city Barcelona, has asked for assurances that civil servants involved will not risk losing their jobs.

 

Justice Minister Rafael Catala on Tuesday warned the regional administration against coercing municipal leaders to take part.

 

"I trust they will be left in peace and not be obliged to do what they cannot," Catala told RTVE television.

 

(Writing by Isla Binnie; editing by Sonya Dowsett)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-13
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Polls have shown support for independence waning in recent years with those wanting a separate state in a minority. However, a majority of Catalans want to vote on the issue.

 

Huh??? Why do a majority want a vote?

 

Anyway, it won't happen, as per the OP. Spain would crumble if it lost Catalan and (especially) the income from Barcelona and the northern costas.

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3 minutes ago, Khun Han said:

 

Polls have shown support for independence waning in recent years with those wanting a separate state in a minority. However, a majority of Catalans want to vote on the issue.

 

Huh??? Why do a majority want a vote?

 

Anyway, it won't happen, as per the OP. Spain would crumble if it lost Catalan and (especially) the income from Barcelona and the northern costas.

And as we have all seen, referendums are meaningless unless the liberal elite are happy with the result, just look at the poor Brits with their elation after winning Brexit lasted what? five minutes. Catalans, sorry dudes, forget it.

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Refusing a Referendum by the Catalan nation is supression of democracy. Anothet example of the Elite running scared.

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45 minutes ago, FreddieRoyle said:

And as we have all seen, referendums are meaningless unless the liberal elite are happy with the result, just look at the poor Brits with their elation after winning Brexit lasted what? five minutes. Catalans, sorry dudes, forget it.

Do you mean Brexit isn't going to happen? This is news to me.

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1 hour ago, terryw said:

Refusing a Referendum by the Catalan nation is supression of democracy. Anothet example of the Elite running scared.

 

You don't think Spain is a sovereign nation?

 

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1 hour ago, terryw said:

Refusing a Referendum by the Catalan nation is supression of democracy. Anothet example of the Elite running scared.

I suppose in the archaic sense you could call Catalonia a nation. But in the modern sense, meaning country, it is not. 

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Can you imagine the state of the world if every state, province, etc. wanted to hold referendums about independence?  Depending on the vote, the number of countries could quadruple.  There is even a group in California that want to withdraw from the US. It's one thing if a minority group in a particular area are being horribly treated but in most cases it is all a small group that whips up sentiment for a change promising something better only to change the power structure.  Nothing changes for the general populace.

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On 9/13/2017 at 10:59 PM, Trouble said:

Can you imagine the state of the world if every state, province, etc. wanted to hold referendums about independence?  Depending on the vote, the number of countries could quadruple.  There is even a group in California that want to withdraw from the US. It's one thing if a minority group in a particular area are being horribly treated but in most cases it is all a small group that whips up sentiment for a change promising something better only to change the power structure.  Nothing changes for the general populace.

So what is the answer - stick with the unsatisfactory status quo? They are proposing a referendum, not unqualified secession. If the exercise is executed in a fair and uncompromised manner and the resolution  passes then the clear and unequivocal will of the people has been demonstrated.  You may be right that nothing will fundamentally change for the better for the Catalan people, but doing nothing is pretty much guaranteed to have the same result. 

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