The Catalan Parliament declares the independence of Catalonia
Through the secret ballot, the Catalan Parliament has approved the declaration of independence of Catalonia. The opposition parties have left the Chamber on the grounds that the proposed declaration of independence is unconstitutional. The Spanish state has threatened criminal charges against the Catalan president and his government.
Three weeks after the controversial referendum on independence (on October 1st), the Catalan Parliament approved on Friday the declaration of independence from Spain and the opening of the constituent process for the creation of the Catalan Republic.
The vote, which took place in a ballot box with a secret vote, followed a parliamentary plenary session that lasted more than 12 hours (it started Thursday afternoon) and under the threat of the Spanish Senate of approving today the application of Article 155 the Constitution, a measure that suspends the government and autonomous powers of Catalonia, in response to the completion of the referendum for the independence, which the Spanish State considers illegal.
The results were 70 votes in favor, 10 against, and 2 empty votes in a half-empty Parliament, since the vote was taken in the absence of three opposition groups - Ciutadans, PSC and PP (the party of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy). The three parties declared that they couldn’t participate in a vote on a proposal that is outside the framework of Spanish legality.
Shortly after the end of the vote, Rajoy sent a message of calm to the Spanish citizens and convened an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers at 19h (Spanish time) to decide how to start implementing Article 155 and the suspension of the entire government and the Catalan Parliament. The application of the article 155 had been raised as a temporary measure, pending the holding of regional elections and Catalonia "to return to the legal framework."
In recent days, it was discussed an option where the Catalan president Carles Puigdemont could convene himself regional elections to avoid the application of art. 155. However, he backed off at the last minute, claiming that he did not have enough guarantees that Rajoy would withdraw the threat of 155.
The Constitutional Court will suspend the declaration of independence in a few hours.
The declaration of independence of Catalonia, for now, remains a kind of entelechy. No European country, nor the United States, have said they will recognize it.