The Parliament declares the independence of Catalonia October 27, 2017


Politics

Independence of Catalonia

David Pérez | eitb.eus

The Chamber has approved the constitution of “the Catalan Republic as an independent and sovereign State”. The Spanish Government has responded by dismissing the Generalitat and calling elections in Catalonia.

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After several frantic weeks full of uncertainty, the Parliament of Catalonia has approved this historic October 27, 2017 to declare a “Independent state in the form of a republic“and open a”constituent process“to write the Constitution of the new State.

“Today the Parlament of our country, a legitimate parliament, emerged from the elections of 27S, has taken a long-awaited and long-fought step. The vast majority of legitimately elected political representatives have completed a mandate validated at the polls,” stated the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, moments after the proclamation.

At the same time, the Senate has approved the suspension of Catalan autonomy, and the President of the Spanish Government, Mariano Rajoy, has subsequently ordered the cessation of the entire Generalitat, the dissolution of the Parliament and the convocation of elections in Catalonia for December 21.

The international community it has not recognized Catalan independence and has turned its back on the declaration of the Parliament.

Meanwhile, thousands of people have taken to the streets in Barcelona and other Catalan towns to celebrate the proclamation.

The proposed resolution approved in the Catalan Chamber includes the declaration of independence that JxSí and the CUP signed on October 10 without it coming into force, and which establishes the following: “We constitute the Catalan Republic, as an independent and sovereign State“, but this part appears in the explanatory memorandum of the resolution, and therefore is not part of the vote.

The initiative, which has been voted in secret ballot box, has had 70 votes in favor, 10 against and 2 blank among the groups that participated in the vote (JxSí, CUP, SíQueEsPot and the non-attached deputy Germà Gordó), while PSC, PP and Cs have left the hemicycle in protest.

Before, another proposal for a resolution by JxSí and the CUP has been voted for this plenary session: the one that approves the opening of a constituent process in Catalonia. This proposal has gone ahead with the votes of both groups, the abstentions of the deputies of SíQueEsPot who belong to Podem and the votes against the rest of the deputies of this group.

The pro-independence mayors who have come to Parliament have symbolically committed to Puigdemont to participate in the process of “republic building“Catalan.

Positioned on the main staircase of the Chamber after the plenary session, the mayors, with their stick of command raised, have pledged with a resounding “yes” to defend the construction of the “republic”, after the mayor proposed this oath from Badalona (Barcelona), Dolors Sabater.

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Explosion of jubilation

After the proclamation of independence, the thousands of people gathered near the Parliament reacted with an explosion of joy, digs and some firecrackers.

The concentrated people have been counting one by one the votes that were proclaimed and that they saw on a giant screen, and each ‘yes’ was received with a shout of joy and the ‘no’ with a disappointment.

Once the result was announced, shouts like ‘Long live Catalonia‘ Y ‘Yes as independents‘, between faces of happiness, tears of joy and hugs.

Subsequently, they have gone to Plaza Sant Jaume, where tens of thousands of people, 17,000 according to the Guardia Urbana, celebrate the “feast of the republic“.

The celebrations are being repeated in Girona, Tarragona, Lleida and other Catalan towns.

Supporters of the unity of Spain have also taken to the streets: a thousand people have marched through the center of Barcelona spontaneously to reject the independence of Catalonia.

Video: Celebration in Plaza Sant Jaume

Photos: “Party of the Republic” in Barcelona

State response

In a vote almost simultaneous to that of the Parliament carried out in the Senate, the Upper House has approved suspend the autonomy of Catalonia by authorizing the Spanish Government to apply the measures it approved almost a week ago under the Article 155 of the Constitution.

Several hours later, Rajoy has urgently met the Council of Ministers and has ordered the resignation of President Puigdemont and the entire Generalitat, the dissolution of Parliament and the call for elections in Catalonia for December 21.

Rajoy has justified this decision because he considers that “It is urgent to give the voice back to Catalan citizens so that they can decide their future“.

And it is also, he added, so that “no one can commit illegalities in the name” of the citizens of Catalonia.

“They are the ballot boxes, the real ones”, the ones that have to establish “the controls and guarantees” and “those that can lay the foundations for the necessary recovery of coexistence between Catalans”, added Rajoy. And he has added that the Spanish Government does not want to delay this task of recovering coexistence “not a minute more.”

Before meeting the Council of Ministers, the president of the Spanish Executive asked Spanish society for “tranquility” and assured that legality would be restored in Catalonia.

On the other hand, the State Attorney General is expected to present this Monday a complaint against the members of the Bureau of Parliament and the Government under the accusation of rebellion, a crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

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What’s more, the Spanish Government will appeal to the Constitutional Court the declaration of independence.

Reactions

The President of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, has asked to face the Catalan Republic with peace, civility and dignity: “There are hours when it will be up to all of us to maintain the pulse of this country” with these values.

Before the deputies and mayors who have filled the steps of the Chamber, the president has praised “the greatness of this moment” and has defended the reason and the legitimacy of the elected Parliament at the polls and has celebrated the step he has just taken, ” long awaited and fought “. “Today the mandate made at the polls has ended,” he celebrated, and asked that the Catalan institutions and society defend it jointly.

The vice president of the Generalitat, Oriol Junqueras, has asked “responsibility, humility and generosity” to the citizens of the “republic” who “overflow with joy” and “trust” to those who have “any reason for concern or concern.”

“We act in good faith, with respect and esteem,” Junqueras said in a speech also offered on the entrance steps to the Parliament.

The spokesperson for the ANC, Agustí Alcoberro, el de Omnium, Marcel Mauri, and the president of the AMI, Neus Lloveras, have celebrated their independence: “I hope that in school you can study that October 27, 2017 has been the first day of freedom.”

In statements to the media this Friday, Alcoberro has claimed that the Parliament “has made a historic step and the proclamation of the Catalan Republic marks a before and after”, and has claimed that now this republic must be filled with content. For his part, Mauri has argued that “today is a day to begin to build a single country and sew all the wounds that may have occurred”, and has called for the immediate release of the presidents of Òmnium and the ANC, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez.

The mayoress of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has confessed that it is difficult for him to “assimilate that today the day of the train crash has arrived”, he has said that the “independence” train has gone with a “kamikaze rush” and has pointed out that the declaration of independence “does not have the support majority of the Catalans “.

“Not in my name, neither DUI nor 155,” the mayor wrote on her Facebook profile a few minutes after the Parliament unilaterally declared independence, while she accused of the situation “a decade of neglect of the Popular Party “.

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The leader of the PSOE, Pedro Sanchez, has expressed its “deepest rejection” of the independence resolution “imposed by the secessionist bloc” in Parliament and has pointed to President Puigdemont and Vice President Junqueras as the “main responsible for the fracture and tear of Catalan society and Spanish”.

In an appearance before the media in Ferraz, the socialist leader said that this is the “culmination of a career of nonsense and flight into the void”, characterized by the “maximum irresponsibility of those who should precisely avoid unnecessary suffering” caused by the DUI.

The Secretary General of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, has rejected the “illegitimate” decision adopted by the Parliament and has accused the parties that govern the Generalitat of “favoring” the strategy of “repression” of the PP.

“We are sad. There was no right to the declaration that we have seen today and we will continue to defend dialogue and democratic solutions,” said the leader of the purple party.

The president of Ciudadanos, Albert Rivera, has made a call to restore legality in Catalonia with “serenity and democratic firmness”, and has been convinced that the “blow to democracy” of the independence movement at the polls will end. “We are going to cast them out by voting,” Rivera has guaranteed in an appearance before the media in Congress.

The Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, has been “radically against the application of article 155” of the Constitution in Catalonia and has warned of the need to avoid “any form of social or political fracture.”

In a message on social networks, Urkullu has reiterated that a political conflict “and with high social roots requires a negotiated and agreed political solution” and has insisted that the “fundamental challenge, from the point of view of political responsibility, is to avoid any form of social or political fracture, whether internal or between different territorial or institutional spheres “.

El portavoz de EH Bildu, Arnaldo Otegi, ha afirmado que Cataluña ha demostrado que "en la Europa del siglo XXI se pueden construir estados si se articular mayorías de forma democrática".
A su juicio, se trata de un proceso "irreversible", porque "la gente es protagonista", y se ha mostrado convencido de que también es posible una república vasca.




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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