THE CATALAN REFERENDUM: A SNAPSHOT ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION II
MAIN FACTS DURING THE VOTING DAY
- The Catalan government decided to go ahead with the referendum and asked citizens to attend the different polling stations.
- Due to the weak intervention of the regional police, national police (Policía Nacional and Guardia Civil) deployed in Catalonia following orders issued by public prosecutors and judges, acted to close polling stations throughout the region.
- There were clashes throughout the day between the police and people in the street and polling stations, with more than 800 injured according to the Catalan authorities.
- The central government repeatedly asked the Catalan authorities to stop the referendum.
- The voting took place without minimum guarantees (no electoral board, no ordinary electoral administration, voting without envelopes, voting on the streets, technological failures, changes in the rules one hour before the opening of polling stations, etc.).
MAIN STATEMENTS BY THE POLITICAL LEADERS
MAIN CONSEQUENCES AFTER THE SO-CALLED REFERENDUM
- The results of the referendum lack credibility due to the lack of guarantees. Nevertheless, as announced by the President of Catalonia, Catalan authorities will go ahead with a unilateral declaration of independence. From a practical point of view, such a declaration seems very difficult to implement considering there is no legal framework and more importantly, that the Catalan finances are intervened.
- If the unilateral declaration of independence takes place, the national authorities could activate the remaining measures such as article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. This article allows the central government, following Parliament’s approval (which is granted by the Popular Party’s overall majority in the Senate), to take all necessary measures to compel an Autonomous Community to meet its obligations or to protect the general interest. In doing so, the government may issue instructions to all the authorities of the self-governing This option has never been used to this day and could therefore present difficulties in its implementation.
- Upcoming days and weeks will be critical to find out if a political solution could be reached. However, the social fracture within the Catalan society as well as political tension between national and Catalan authorities will make institutional relations very difficult to be restored. The central government’s stability for the coming months appears to have been compromised as it will struggle to find the support it needs to approve key measures such as the 2018 Budget Act.
Would you like to know more? Take me to Part I