They have produced a series of inadmissible events, stealing part of the territory that belongs to all the people of Spain
By Jack Wright
Following the application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution in Catalonia, deposed high-ranking officials of that autonomous region are or have been in pre-trial detention in Estremera, Alcala de Henares and Soto del Real prisons, all in Madrid, for rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds . Among these are Vice President of the Govern de Catalunya Oriol Junqueras and seven ex-counsellors of the government that went kaput under Article 155.
At the pre-trial interrogation in the National High Court (Audiencia Nacional), the unseated Vice President and the ex-counsellors refused to answer save those questions posed by their defense lawyer. The judge ordered unconditional imprisonment for them, no bail, because of the gravity of the crimes they are accused of and the very high probability of flight. The judge cited as example former President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont and four other ex-counsellors who hightailed it to Belgium as soon as Article 155 went into effect.
Also in custody were the former President of the Parliament Carme Forcadell and four members of the Mesa (governing body) of the regional parliament, accused not only of same crimes but, additionally, for allowing votation to take place. Which voting led to the unilateral and illegal proclamation of the independence of Catalonia.
Unlike the first group, Forcadell was all cooperation. In fact she affirmed that she is abiding by Article 155 and said that the proclamation of independence was simply a symbolic act and had no legal effect.
The four members of the Mesa adopted Forcadell’s stance and stated that they too were abiding by Article 155.
Because of her position as president of parliament, the weight of the responsibility for allowing the votation impacted Forcadell with its full force. As a result, she was only released from the Alcala Meco prison, where she had been jailed on 9 November, after posting a bond of €150,000. The bail for the members of the Mesa was €25,000 each.
They all announced that if in future they should go back to active politics, they will renounce any act that violated the Spanish Consitution.
Forcadell’s declaration in court must be a big — not to say fatal — blow to the independece movemnet in Catalonia which she helped radicalize over the years, perhaps next only in gravity to deposed President of the Generalitat Carles Puigdemont’s fleeing Spain.
Below is the English translation of the announcement made by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the measures that are now being implemented to re-establish constitutional order in Catalonia following the Govern’s unilateral and illegal declaration of independence on 27 Octobe3r 2017.
. . .Senselessness has imposed itself on the law and has toppled democracy in Catalonia with disdain for the general interest, without respecting the rights of the majority and regardless of . . . the harm that this may cause.
The government has begun to adopt the necessary measures in response to . . . a series of events that is inadmissible for most people of Catalonia, stealing part of the territory that belongs to all the people of Spain.
At this emotional time, prudence and serenity are very important, as is trust that the State has sufficient resources to recover legal normality and dissolve the threats to co-existence, with all the weight of the law and reason behind it, and in a peaceful and moderate fashion.
At the ordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers, it was agreed to lodge an appeal before the Constitutional Court in order to annul the resolutions adopted today by the Regional Parliament of Catalonia [i.e., the resolution passed by the Catalan parliament which declared the independence of Catalonia from Spain and the founding of an independent Republic of Catalonia].
As to the extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers, this was exclusively given over to implementation of the initial measures provided for in Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. . .
These initial measures are as follows:
These. . .measures. . .will [be] implement[ed] to prevent those who, to date, have been responsible for the Regional Government of Catalonia’s escalation of disobedience and aggression towards our Constitution and co-existence in Catalonia from continuing to take those steps.
The decisions we have adopted this afternoon [of 27 October 2017] are to restore the self-governance that was wiped out over the last few weeks by a series of illegal, arbitrary and exclusionary decisions adopted by the Regional Government of Catalonia. These steps are necessary and essential so that democratic [and legitimate] self-governance will reign again. . .
. . .[T]oday I have dissolved the Regional Parliament of Catalonia. . . [R]egional elections will be held in this autonomous region on 21 December. . . It is the ballot box. . .that holds the power of the law, with checks and balances, and which can lay the foundations for the necessary recovery of co-existence among the people of Catalonia.
. . .I have decided to call these free, clean and legal elections as soon as possible so that democracy can be restored in this autonomous region.*
*Moncloa’s unofficial translation of the original text in Spanish
Source: Gobierno de España La Moncloa
> Featured image/jmiller via Flickr, CC BY2.0
> Junqueras, source:eldiario.es via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA3.0
> Forcadell/ User:Judesba, cropped and improved by Ezarate, via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA3.0
> Disappointed pro-independence demonstrators/Robert Bonet via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA3.0es
> Puigdemont in parliament/Generalitat de Catalunya, CC (Wikipedia: TheGeneralitat de Catalunya allows use of image for any purpose, provided that it is properly attributed. Redistribution, derivative work, commercial use, and all other uses are permitted.)
> Parliament of Catalonia/JasonParis via Flickr, CC BVY2.0
Jack has been with Guidepost for more than a decade now and sees no end to his association with The Dean. He travels around with his ubiquitous laptop, ready to pound it when a story hits him. He loves writing and doesn’t shy away from controversy; he could be mordant in his articles.
Jack has a bachelor’s degree with Political Science for major.
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