The Catalan regional government introduces transitional bill paving the way for secession

TONI ALBIR

Thousands of people gather under the slogan 'For Democracy, Defend our Institutions' in downtown Barcelona, Catalonia, northeastern Spain, 13 November 2016, in support of a total of 407 Catalonian pro-independence public officials-elect investigated by Spanish courts. The defendants are accused of several offenses including denying to raise the Spanish national flag in city halls, disobeying the Spanish courts or for their role in the referendum on independence on 09 November 2014.

The Catalan regional government introduces transitional bill paving the way for secession


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The pro-independence coalition government in Catalonia has submitted a so-called “transitional jurisprudence bill” to the regional parliament. The bill is designed to facilitate the country’s transition to independence, the Catalan News Agency reports.

Roadmap to secessionist referendum

The governing coalition is a constellation of political parties from the center-right to the far-left that have little else in common other than the desire to promote secession. They are fittingly called “Coalition for Yes” (Junts pel Si) are leading the country towards an independence referendum on October 1st.

The bill is branded as “the plan for D-Day+1” and is intended to describe what happens if Catalans – those that will go to the polls – vote “Yes.” If there is a referendum and if the result is “yes,” then this transitional bill would go into effect 48 hours from the proclamation of the official results, following a plenary session of the Catalan Parliament.

The vote on the transitional bill will take place this September, weeks before the planned independence referendum.

The referendum has been declared illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court and both the regional government and public employees facilitating the referendum face dismissal and the threat of further legal repercussions. Both the Spanish government and the leading opposition Socialists (PSOE) do not recognize the right of the regional government to hold a secessionist referendum.

From ‘Yes’ to secession

The bill describes Catalonia as a Republic, with no place for the Spanish monarchy. Catalan and Spanish will continue to be the main official languages, along with the Aranese dialect of Occitan. The Republic would accept dual nationality, but the terms would be negotiated with the Spanish state.

Within six months from the date of the referendum, Catalonia will have to go to the polls to vote for a constituent assembly. The resulting Constitution would need the support of 60% of lawmakers, but could still be passed with an absolute majority.

During that period, Catalan secessionist argue that the region will continue to be part of the European Union; Spanish law will also apply, although under Catalan jurisdiction, with the Catalan Supreme Court being the highest court in the region. Pro-unity parties make clear that secession would mean Catalonia will be cut off from the EU effective immediately.

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