A Catalan republic?

Puigdemont announces unilateral referendum October 1 for Catalonia as an independent state and republic

The voting papers will be in Catalan, Spanish and Aranese. “Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state as a republic?” October 1 is the day on which the Catalan government proposes to effectively place itself above Spanish law and call the country to the polls in the face of the repeated refusals by Madrid to agree to a referendum. The geovernment yesterday formally announced both the date and the question for the referendum in a collective and solemn ceremony in the Pati dels Tarongers of the Palace of the Generalitat. The president, Carles Puigdemont was accompanied by Vice President Oriol Junqueras, the other members of the government and JxSí and CUP MPs.

Puigdemont said the government will work to “provide all the guarantees” and “ensure the correction” of the process. He did not specify, however, how and details about the census and the electoral body that will act as official administrators, among other specifics have yet to be announced.

The ceremony is ia declaration of intentions and holds no juridic content, as such, there is no possibility at this stage of Spain’s Constitutional Court (TC) becoming involved. No member of the government, will sign the decree of convocation until after the summer, once Parliament passes the law which will protect those involved.

In Madrid, the government spokesperson, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, insisted that the referendum would not be held and reiterated that once any legal step was taken by the Generalitat, the government would act. PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez gave Mariano Rajoy his support on the issue in a telephone conversation but also urged Rajoy to return those powers which were annulled by the TC in the Estatut to the Catalan government as a means of defusing the situation.

While some opposition parties in Catalonia termed the announcement a staged event with no relevance and called for elections, others asked for details before making any firm commitment.

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