Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Saturday, 22 october 2016 | FINANCIAL TIMES

English

Madrid court rules against Catalonia bull-fighting ban

Decision sparks angry backlash in secession-minded Spanish region


FINANCIAL TIMES
 
20-10-2016.-
 
By TOBIAS BUCK
 
Spain’s constitutional court has lifted a six-year-old ban on bull-fighting in Catalonia, sparking an angry backlash in the region and opening a sensitive new front in the escalating conflict between Madrid and the secession-minded Catalan government.
 
In a ruling published on Thursday, the court said that Catalonia’s regional parliament lacked the competency to impose a bull-fighting ban. It pointed out that Spanish law defines the traditional corrida as part of the country’s “national heritage” which meant it fell under the competency of the central government in Madrid. Catalonia, it concluded, had the right to ban specific events for reasons of animal welfare — but not to impose a blanket ban.
 
The Catalan government rejected the ruling, and made clear it had no intention of following the decision of Spain’s highest court. “There will be no bull-fights in Catalonia, no matter what the constitutional court says,” Josep Rull, a member of the regional government, said on Thursday.
 
“What we’re talking about is whether or not it is acceptable to organise public spectacles that are based on the death and suffering of a living being. Catalonia says No, and Catalonia will continue to say No,” Mr Rull added.
 
Bull-fighting was banned by the Catalan regional parliament in 2010, in a decision that reflected animal welfare concerns but that was also seen as a symbolic break with one of Spain’s most cherished and controversial traditions. The prohibition coincided with the beginning of a surge in separatist sentiment that has convulsed Spanish politics and which poses a profound challenge to the country’s political and legal order.
 
The current Catalan government is formally committed to establishing an independent break-away state sometime next year. A key part of that process involves renouncing the legal validity of constitutional court rulings in Catalonia — a stance that is likely to provoke a clash with Madrid.
 
Catalan officials argue that Spain’s highest court is politicised and rules against the region’s interest as a matter of course.
 
“This is a politically-appointed court whose president used to be a member of the ruling party,” a spokesman for the Catalan government said. “The court may still have power but it lost all its authority here in Catalonia.”
 


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Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

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