Pending a ruling by the Constitutional Court (TC) on the Catalan parliament's vote on the conclusions reached by the Study Committee on the Constituent Process, Catalonia’s pro-independence forces are assuming that Spain’s top court will rule against them, and as such, it will be necessary to ignore it and continue pushing the independence process forward.
CUP representative Anna Gabriel warned that if the TC decides today to impeach Carme Forcadell, the Speaker of the Catalan parliament, the process will have reached "a point of no return". Gabriel's comments came on Monday in an interview with Els Matins on Catalunya Ràdio —Catalonia’s public broadcaster— in which she stated that if public officeholders are disqualified, "the nation will respond" to this "political" decision.
Minister of the Presidency and government spokesperson Neus Munté also described as "utterly incomprehensible" the Spanish government's appeal to the TC of conclusions that were approved by majority in the Catalan parliament. "This is a merely political declaration that does not give rise to any articles or any specific regulations", she assured while speaking for Spain’s Cadena Ser radio. She added that nowhere in the world would people understand that a court, "at the bidding of the government", might ban a Parliament's creation of a study committee.
Munté argued that the only thing that the Catalan government has done is to "obey and act on a mandate" that she considers "100% democratic" because it emerged from the elections on September 27 last year. She noted that the Catalan administration has "a commitment to the people to forge ahead with the roadmap", which is based on the creation of "legal frameworks and statehood structures". However, she didn't hesitate to remind the CUP that for this path negotiating and approving the budget is “essential".
Raül Romeva, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Transparency, also explained that the approval of the committee findings "is not just about Carme Forcadell", and noted that the 72 representatives of Junts pel Sí and the CUP "are absolutely jointly responsible for the decision and for what happened in Parliament". Thus, he said that the representatives are willing "to do whatever it takes", as they believe that they are "instruments" of the process.
"Many other agents" must approve a new referendum
CUP MP Anna Gabriel again argued for a Unilateral Referendum on Independence (RUI, in Catalan) during the first half of 2017, although she avoided presenting it as a condition to the government, because it is a demand that would have to come with the backing of "many other agents”.
The CUP member alleged that a unilateral referendum before the end of the 18-month time frame laid out by the government to develop its pro-independence roadmap would be "a prime democratic instrument" to "definitively begin to resolve" the process towards a Catalan Republic with "essential international recognition”.
Although this "could be a good scenario", Gabriel avoided proposing it as a condition for the CUP to vote in favor of Carles Puigdemont, President of the Generalitat, in the vote of confidence scheduled for September 28. However, she assured that the CUP "will welcome the idea" if Puigdemont proposes it in his speech on the 28th.
"If we have an effective and unquestionable commitment to exercise the right to self-determination, the CUP will have no problem in facilitating whatever is involved", said Gabriel. She did not, however, say anything about whether her group would support the 2017 budget, as they don't know its content yet.