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Spain Seeks Criminal Charges Against Catalan Parliament

Sat 30th Jul 2016
Spain Seeks Criminal Charges Against Catalan Parliament

The caretaker Spanish government is seeking criminal charges be brought against the Catalan Parliament following a vote to pursue independence from Spain.

Politicians in Barcelona, the capital of Catalona, voted on Wednesday to continue its drive for independence despite fierce opposition from Madrid. Madrid has called the vote unconstitutional.

Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, deputy prime minister of Spain’s caretaker government said the government had referred the matter to the Constitution Court to annul the resolution and see if criminal charges can be brought against the Catalan Parliament speaker of the house, Carmen Forcadell for allowing the vote.

Speaking after a cabinet meeting on Friday, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said “It's a violation of our constitution” and warned separatist politicians and specifically, Forcadell, could face fines up to €30,000, suspension from their posts and even legal action if they continued to disobey Madrid.

Striking back, Forcadell said “they do not know how to resolve politically” the situation in Catalonia but instead try to use legal tools to fix the issue. “This does not help resolve the problem, it makes it worse” she added.

Catalonia has long sought independence from Spain claiming the region of Catalonia pays way more into Spain through taxation and other measure than it receives back in central government investment.

Polls put separatist sentiment at an all time high with support growing. A regional government survey said 47.7 percent of Catalonian’s support independence whereas 42.4 percent are against.

Catalonia is the home to 7.5 million people, representing a FIFTH of Spain’s economic output. Madrid has always fought independence through the Constitutional Court, who in 2014, suspended and independence referendum called by the Catalan Government of the day, lead by then president of the region, Artur Mas.

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