After yesterday's chaotic Spanish event rollercoaster, when the Catalan leader Carles Puidgement was going to press ahead with independence only to change his mind, and propose elections, before reversing again and punting the independence decision to parliament, we hoped to get some further clarity on how he’s planning to proceed. Today, the chaos continues.
First, Bloomberg reported that Catalonia would seek approval for elections from Madrid:
The rebel government of Catalonia is making a last ditch effort to win concessions from Madrid. According to a person familiar with the matter, Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, wants to convince supporters to accept regional elections instead of a declaration of independence. A senior Catalan official will ask the Spanish government to suspend the process of seizing direct control of the region if there is a snap election.
However, shortly afterwards, The Spain Report carried breaking news that the secessionists would debate a motion to declare independence in today’s session of the Catalonian Parliament.
More from the report:
Catalan separatist parties—Junts Pel Sí ("Together For Yes") and the CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy)—have registered a motion to declare the independence of Catalonia in the regional parliament.
A copy of the document published by Spanish media included the phrase: "We constitute the Catalan Republic as an independent sovereign democratic, social state of law".
The text would also approve the activation of the secession bill approved by the regional chamber at the beginning of September and voided by the Constitutional Court and "begin the constituent process".
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The Speaker's Committee is currently deciding on which motions to accept for the second part of the session in the Catalan Parliament on Article 155, which is due to begin at 12 p.m.
At the same time, there are unconfirmed reports that police are closing off roads around the regional parliament. Meanwhile, the Spanish senate has been debating the implementation of Article 155 in Madrid. Rajoy told lawmakers that Spain faced an exceptional situation and asked them to support his proposal on Article 155. The Spain Report shows video of Rajoy receiving a standing ovation.
Here are flash reports from Bloomberg on the parliamentary debate in Madrid:
- Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy speaks in Senate.
- Spain’s Rajoy Asks Senate to Support Proposal on Art. 155
- Rajoy: Nothing Substantial Happened Since Govt Approved ART.155.
- “The only talks I was invited to was to discuss terms and conditions of Catalan independence,"
- Spain confronts exceptional situation, Rajoy tells Senate
- “Exceptional measures should only be adopted when there is no other possible remedy’’:
As Bloomberg reported this morning, Puigdemont has been running out of options.
Backed into a corner by his own hardliners and Rajoy’s refusal to give him a dignified way out, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont will address the regional parliament in Barcelona as demonstrators clamor for a declaration of independence. After a day of high drama that saw Puigdemont caught between the might of the Spanish state and the anger of the street, western Europe’s worst constitutional crisis for decades may be coming to a head with the separatist leader running out of options…
The day of confusion saw the president make a televised address after two postponements, lawmakers quit his party and a senior Catalan official jump ship, all while Spanish ministers were repeating their mantra that the Catalans must be brought to heel. The Spanish stock market posted its biggest gain since Oct. 5 only to pare the advance as events unfolded. Puigdemont said he had considered calling the regional vote, but he didn’t get the concessions he sought from officials in Madrid. "I tried to get the guarantees to carry out these elections, but didn’t get a responsible answer,” he said.
Last night, reports from the secessionist camp implied that independence would be declared.
"We are winning," Lluis Corominas, the head of Puigdemont’s PDeCat group, told lawmakers on Thursday night. "We should materialize the effects of the Oct. 1 referendum and implement them." That’s code for declaring independence.
Maybe they are correct, but until then this remains a dangerously fluid and volatile situation.
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