Blogs and advice from Industry leading Specialists
Valuable Opinions, Comments & Gossip
Financial related News & Articles relating to Spain
Latest News, Stories
& Hot Topics
Various Tools & Widgets to help with your financial needs
Tools & Widgets to
help with finances
Polls, Surveys and Opinions featured throughout Tumbit
Featured Polls, Surveys & Stats
Discussions, Advice & Topical Chat
Discussions, Advice & Topical Chat

Top court declares Catalan sovereignty declaration unconstitutional

Source: El Pais - Tue 25th Mar 2014
Top court declares Catalan sovereignty declaration unconstitutional

Spain's Constitutional Court has ruled that the sovereignty declaration passed by Catalonia's regional parliament early last year is unconstitutional.

In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the highest court in the land ruled that the Catalan government cannot continue with its plans to form separate institutions based on this declaration of independence.

The conservative majority on the bench pushed to annul the declaration because of its unconstitutionality while the liberal minority said the statement was never legally binding, and the court should have dropped the entire case in the first place.

At the same time, according to court sources, the top court ruled that the holding of a referendum – which the Catalan government of Artur Mas is intent on doing – was not in itself illegal as long as it was conducted within the framework of the law. The vote came on the first day that the court met to discuss the legal challenge made by PM Mariano Rajoy.

The court ruled that holding a referendum was not illegal as long as it was conducted within the law.

Last year, the Partido Popular administration filed a challenge to the Catalan parliament's sovereignty declaration passed on January 23, 2013 that identified the Catalan people as "a sovereign political and legal entity." The court had ordered the region not to act on this declaration until it could resolve the case.

Congress is scheduled to hold a debate on April 8 on the Catalan parliament's petition to transfer powers to local authorities so that they can hold a status referendum in November.

It was not immediately clear how Tuesday's decision would affect the planned referendum. Earlier in the day, the permanent committee of the Catalan parliament voted to ask that the chief justice of the Constitutional Court, Francisco Pérez de los Cobos, and two other justices, recuse themselves in studying the central's government's challenge to the sovereignty declaration.

In a filing, the commission said that De los Cobos and Justices Pedro González-Trevijano and Enrique López were anti-Catalan.

De los Cobos, who was the center of controversy last year after he admitted that he paid membership dues to the Partido Popular from 2008 to 2011 while serving on the bench, has denied that he is biased.

Recommended Reading :

* Over half of Catalans support independence

* Catalonia owed 93 Bln by Madrid