Catalan speaker could face criminal charges as independence drama continues

Playa de L'Ampolla - Image Teulada-Moraira Ajuntament

TENSIONS continue to intensify over Spain’s enduring Catalonian question as the deputy prime minister in Madrid suggested that the speaker of the pro-independence parliament should face criminal charges for allowing representatives to approve a text calling for Catalans to press ahead with secession without blessing from the Spanish state.

Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, presently the acting deputy prime minister while negotiations on forming a government continue, said the bold move was a “violation of our constitution” and threatened separatist Catalan lawmakers with hefty fines, suspension and legal action if they pursued independence reforms further.

She also announced that she had requested constitutional lawyers to determine whether Carme Forcadell, leader of the Catalan parliament and pro-independence trailblazer, might face criminal liability for pushing through the controversial text.

Contending that the “only way possible” for Catalans to secure a real independence referendum on the region’s future is to ‘disconnect’ from the Spanish state, the text reflects growing opinion among the secessionist political class that negotiations with Madrid are pointless given the present government’s ongoing refusal to even contemplate offering a referendum.

Forcadell has fired back at Santamaria, accusing her party, the conservative Partido Popular, of trying to manipulate the law to avoid answering a question “they do not know how to resolve politically” and warned that her intervention risked exacerbating an already fraught situation.

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