Spanish Congress slams the door shut on dialogue with Catalonia

Catalan MonitorFeature

In a widely anticipated outcome, yesterday Spanish MP’s overwhelmingly voted down Catalan MP’s call for power to hold a vote on independence.

Spanish parliament rejects Catalan independence vote – BBC
After seven hours of debate, 299 MPs voted against the motion, with 47 votes in favour and one abstention. […] All of the major Spanish parties, including Mr Rajoy’s conservative Popular Party and the Socialist opposition, opposed the petition, with Catalan and Basque nationalist parties voting in favour.

Spain rejects Catalan push for independence – Al Jazeera
Catalan politicians said the movement had gained too much momentum to stop the referendum, which [Catalan PM Artur Mas] had said would take place on November 9. Rajoy said he will use the courts to block the vote. If the referendum is shut down by the courts, Mas is expected to use the next election in Catalonia, which must be held by 2016, as a proxy vote on independence. Opinion polls show that roughly half of Catalans support independence, but a much higher number want the right to vote on the matter.

Spain Rejects Catalonia’s Call for Power to Vote on Independence – Bloomberg
Artur Mas has pledged to ballot Catalans on independence on Nov. 9 this year in defiance of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who says the vote would be unconstitutional. Defeat for their plans in Madrid may inflame separatist sentiment with more than half of Catalans supporting secession, according to the regional polling agency.

“In Europe, the big decisions are taking by voting,” Jordi Turull, a regional lawmaker from the Catalan nationalist CiU party told the national assembly yesterday. “Catalonia has embarked on a voyage of no return.”

Spanish Parliament Rejects Catalonia Bid – The New York Times
Catalonian lawmaker Joan Herrera argued that a “no” vote would only “increase the difference” between Catalonia and Spain because Catalonians were not being allowed to exercise what they see as their right to decide their future.

Spanish Parliament Rejects Catalan Request To Hold A Referendum On Independence – The Spain Report
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy—during his reply to the three Catalan MPs who presented the request in a plenary session of the Spanish Congress in Madrid—said he could not: “conceive of a Spain without Catalonia, or a Catalonia outside of Spain or Europe” and that: ”regional, local or provincial sovereignties do not exist. They cannot be created and they cannot be admitted, at least under this constitution.”

As usual, Vilaweb‘s global edition covers the issue extensively:

Spanish Congress buries dialogue and pushes Catalonia toward unilateral action – Vilaweb
The Spanish Congress has definitively closed the door on accepting any referendum in Catalonia. Mariano Rajoy’s speech mentioned beginning a reform of the Constitution but such a reform would have to be approved by a parliamentary majority just like the one that rejected the petition of the Parliament of Catalonia today. PP (ruling Partido Popular), PSOE (Spanish Socialist Party), and UPyD joined forces once again against the Catalan sovereignty process and rejected the propostion sent by the Parliament of Catalonia which asked that powers be transferred that would allow it to hold referendums.

A thorough international press clipping on yesterday’s session is kept up to date by International Catalonia.