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The Catalan Sovereignty Referendum


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Description of political events leading to the 2012 snap elections in Catalonia

Published in: Education, Travel, News & Politics
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The Catalan Sovereignty Referendum

  1. 1. Decolonizing Europe?The 2014 sovereignty referendum in Catalonia
  2. 2. Catalonia v. “Països Catalans”
  3. 3. Crown of Aragon in 1441
  4. 4. 1479: Marriage of Ferdinand ofAragon & Isabella of Castile
  5. 5. September 11th,1714: End of theSiege of Barcelona& the War ofSpanishSuccession
  6. 6. “Uniform” v. “Assimilated” Spain
  7. 7. 1918: The Wilson Doctrine & the‘estelada’ flag
  8. 8. April 1931: 2nd Republic proclaimed& Generalitat reestablishedSeptember 1932: Statute ofAutonomy of Catalonia approvedJuly 1936: military revolt & beginningof the Spanish WarDecember 1938: Franco invadesCataloniaSeptember 1977: Francos decree ofdissolution recalled; Generalitatreestablished provisionally from exileDecember 1978: new SpanishConstitution approvedNovember 1979: new Statute ofAutonomy of Catalonia approved
  9. 9. 2006 Statute of Autonomy ofCatalonia September 2005: approved by the Parliament ofCatalonia November 2005: admitted by Spanish Parliament February 2006: 125,000 people demonstrate inBarcelona against modifications March 2006: modified & approved by the Lower House May 2006: modified & approved by the Senate June 2006: approved in Catalonia by referendum (49%participation, 74% in favor) July 2006: the Popular Party appeals 187 of 242 articlesto the Constitutional Court
  10. 10.  "State investment in infrastructures in Catalonia shallbe equal to the relative participation of Cataloniasgross domestic product in the gross domestic productof the State for a period of seven years. Theseinvestments may also be employed in eliminating tollsor for construction of alternative expressway roads."(Statute, 3rd Additional Provision) “Contrary to the interregional solidarity principle [...].The essence of solidarity [...] is the relative impove-rishment of the giver and the relative enrichment of thereceiver” (Appeal to the Constitutional Court)The Fight over Infrastructures
  11. 11. Toll roads• 67% two-way roads are tolled vs. 20% in rest of Spain• Example: Montgat-Mataró; €21 million cost vs. €682million benefits• April 2006: Royal Decree 457 extends concessions to2021
  12. 12. Infrastructure investmentYear Budgeted investment(millions €)Effective investment2004 2,191 1,535 (70,1%)2005 2,186 1,640 (75%)2006 2,444 1,876 (76,8%)
  13. 13. Barcelona vs. Madrid Airport• 23 bilateral agreements between Spain andforeign airlines preventing their landing inBarcelona• State-centralized management unique inEurope (besides Romania)• Better investment for Madrid Airport1991-2000investment forairports in % of GPPassengers in 2011 Percentage of allotedresources in 2011Madrid 0.17 41,700.000 55%Catalonia 0.04 34,000.000 25%
  14. 14. The "Madriterranian" railwaycorridor●April 2004: Madrid includes the Central Pyrenees Rail Pass inthe Trans-European Transport Networks Guidelines for 2014-2020●October 2011: the European Union prioritizes funding for theMediterranian Railway Corridor
  15. 15. High-Speed Rail: A radial networkMadrid-Seville: 1992Madrid-Lleida: 2003Madrid-Antequera: 2006Madrid-Malaga: 2007Madrid-Valladolid: 2007Madrid-Barcelona: 2008Madrid-Valencia: 2010Perpinyà (France)-Figueres: 2010Barcelona-Figueres: 2013
  16. 16. 2007 Statute of Autonomy ofAndalusia● Approved by Parliament with PP support● Approved by referendum February 2007● 39 appealed articles from the Catalan Statutecopied almost verbatim● 35 other appealed articles significantly similar► “The investment granted to Andalusia will beequivalent to Andalusia’s weight in Spain’spopulation for a period of 7 years” (3rdAdditional Disposition)
  17. 17. 2007: Chaos and Outrage• Construction of the high speed rail throughBarcelona• July 23-27: great power outage• October 15 to December 1: suburban railwaysystem halted
  18. 18. December 1st 2007 Demonstration• 200,000 (police) to 700,000 people (organizers)• Slogan: "We are a nation and we say enough! Wehave the right to decide on our infrastructures."• Organizer: Platform for the Right to Decide• Demands:o Transfer of mass transportation services to theGeneralitato Publication of the tax balance between regionso Tax autonomy for Catalonia
  19. 19. July 15, 2008: 2005 tax balancepublishedCatalonias tax balance: -8.7%
  20. 20. • Taxation and funding regime unique to theBasque Autonomous Community• Renewed since 1878• The Quota:o Payment for services not devolved to theCommunity & general costs of the State (army,embassies)o Prorated to its weight in the national income andpopulationo Renegotiated every 5th yearThe Basque Economic Agreement
  21. 21. Proposals of "fiscal agreement"● Catalonia too big to receive Basque agreement● Compromise: limiting fiscal deficit to 4%● Artur Mas’ key electoral pledge in the 2010 campaignYear 2010 Population (millions) Contribution toSpain’s GNPBasque Country 2.2 6.1%Catalonia 7.5 18.6%Madrid 6.5 17.8%Andalusia 8.5 13.7%
  22. 22. The 2009 Popular LegislativeInitiative● Regulated by Parliament in 2006► 50,000 signatures required after approval► Only allows inclusion of bills in the Parliament’sagenda● May 6 2009: PLI presented by► “Do you agree that Catalonia become asovereign, democratic & social state within theEU?► Date proposed: Sept. 12, 2010● June 16, 2009: Rejected by Parliament forwant of competence on referendums
  23. 23. Spanish Constitution onReferendums (1)Part III, chap. II, sec. 921.Political decisions of special importance may besubmitted to all citizens in a consultativereferendum.2.The referendum shall be called by the King on thePresident of the Governments proposal afterprevious authorization by the Congress.3.An organic act shall lay down the terms andprocedures for the different kinds of referendumprovided for in this Constitution.
  24. 24. Spanish Constitution onReferendums (2)● Part VIII, chap. III, sec. 1491.The State shall have exclusive competenceover the following matters:32. Authorization of popular consultationsthrough the holding of referendums.
  25. 25. 2006 Statute on ReferendumsTitle IV, art.122The Generalitat has exclusive power over theestablishment of the legal system, the modalities, theprocedure, the implementation and the calling, whetherby the Generalitat or by local bodies, acting within theirjurisdiction, of public opinion polls, public hearings,participation forums and any other instruments ofpopular consultation, with the exception of thoseprovided for by Article 149.1.32 of the Constitution
  26. 26. The First Town Referendum● Arenys de Munt: 8,500 inhabitants● June 4, 2009: the town council authorizes aprivate association to use public facilities tosurvey local opinion on the PLI● Aug: a fascist party is authorized todemonstrate during the referendum● Sep. 3: the Goverment’s Delegate sues thetown council to suspend its minutes
  27. 27. ● Sept. 13, 2009: referendum takes place in privatefacilities● Town registry used instead of the electoral census● 16-year-olds & foreign residents allowed to vote
  28. 28. More Town Referendums● Dec. 7, 2009: the Government’s Delegate decidesnot to appeal against the new referendums● Referendum waves:► Dec. 13, 2009: 167 towns► Feb. 28, 2010: 80 towns► April 24, 2010: 211 towns► June 20, 2010: 48 towns► April 10, 2011: Barcelona
  29. 29. City referendums
  30. 30. Institutional SupportCounty Councils Town Councils
  31. 31. Results● 553 towns of 947● 4,668,673 people called to vote● 19% participation● Yes: 91.74%● Catalan Parliament resolutions:► March 3, 2010 & March 10, 2011► In “acknowledgement” and “support” of the consultations► In remembrance of previous Parliament resolutionsasserting that “Catalonia never relinquished its right toself-determination “(Dec. 12, 1989, Oct. 1, 1998).
  32. 32. Defining Referendum● Ruling 103/2008 (Sept. 11, 2008) by theConstitutional Court● Invalidates as “unconstitutional” a call to areferendum by the Parliament of the BasqueCountry on the “Basque people’s right todecide”● Defines ‘referendum’ as involving thenational electorate.● Does not mention town registries or otherdatabases
  33. 33. Flaws in the Constitutional Court● Judicial review vs. parlamentary sovereignty(cf. UK, Netherlands, Finnland, Israel)● However:► No linguistic/ethnic quotas for theappointment of judges (cf. Belgium,Switzerland)► Judges appointed for 9 years (cf. USA,Canada, India)► 8 of 12 judges appointed by Parliament (4 byLower House, 4 by Senate)
  34. 34. Flaws in the Senate● A chamber for territorial representation or forsecond reading?● Autonomic representation overlayed toprovincial and demographic representation● “Coffee for all”: 11 Spanish-languageautonomous regions out of 17● Controversy on language interpretation
  35. 35. The Battle around the Court● February 2007: 1 judge recused from the Statute case● May 2007: Constitutional Court Law reformed► The legislatures of the autonomous communities will nominate the judgesto be appointed by the Senate● July 2007: PP appeals to the Court agains the reform● December 2007: the term for the 4 Senate-nominated judges expires● May 2008: 1 judge dies without being replaced● July 2008: the election of two Senate candidates is recused by PSOE for“twisting the spirit of the law”● 2010: 1 judge appointed by PSOE switches over to the anti-Statute band
  36. 36. The Statute Ruling● June 28 2010: Constitutional Court’s rulingreleased● July 9 2010: entire ruling published● 14 articles stricken down as unconstitutional● 23 articles “reinterpreted”
  37. 37. Interpretive Rulings● December 2007 ruling on the new Statute ofValencia: first interpretive ruling● Nontraditional legal principle: “constitutionalwhen meaning...”● Criticized in 4 dissenting votes:► “It reconstrues the law forcing it to saysomething completely different”● A legal coup?► Juridical insecurity► Judiciary court turned into legislative chamber► A doubly indirect democracy
  38. 38. Spanish Constitution on Sovereignty● National sovereignty belongs to the Spanishpeople, from whom all state powers emanate.(Part I, Sec. 1, Art. 2)● The Constitution is based on the indissolubleunity of the Spanish Nation, the common andindivisible homeland of all Spaniards; itrecognizes and guarantees the right to self-government of the nationalities and regions ofwhich it is composed and the solidarity amongthem all. (Part I, Sec. 2)
  39. 39. ● Statute of Catalonia (Preamble):► "Catalonia’s self-government is founded onthe Constitution, and also on the historicalrights of the Catalan people"► "The Parliament of Catalonia has definedCatalonia as a nation by ample majority"● References to Catalonia as a nation and the“national reality of Catalonia” made invalid● Statute of Andalusia (Preamble)► “The Constitution, in its Art. 2, acknowledgesAndalusia as a nationality within theindissoluble framework of the Spanish nation.”
  40. 40. Demonstration "We are a nation.We decide."● July 10th, 2010• Organized by Omnium Cultural• 600,000 people (source: SpanishGovernment)• 1,500,000 people (source: city police)• 2,000,000 people (source: organizers)
  41. 41. The Economic Recession & theBudget Cuts● International pressures to curb publicspending to prevent Spain’s bailout● March 2012: Madrid sets public deficit limit of1.5% GNP to regions; EU raises Spain’slimit from 4.4% to 5.3%● May 2012: Madrid & other regions exposedfor raising the 2011 public spending● July 2012: Spain’s limit further raised to6.3%; regional spending for 2013 reducedfrom 1.1% to 0.7%
  42. 42. Spanish Constitution on Language● Part I, section 31.Castilian is the official Spanish language of theState. All Spaniards have the duty to know it and theright to use it.2.The other Spanish languages shall also be official inthe respective Self-governing Communities inaccordance with their Statutes.3.The richness of the different linguistic modalities ofSpain is a cultural heritage which shall be speciallyrespected and protected.
  43. 43. Catalan Language after the Ruling● “Catalonias own language is Catalan. As such,Catalan is the language of normal and preferentialuse in Public Administration bodies and in the publicmedia of Catalonia, and is also the language ofnormal use for teaching and learning in the educationsystem.” (Statute, art. 6.1)● The Court rules that “the constitutional duty ofknowing Spanish entails satisfying the citizen’s right toknow it through their basic instruction”● Interprets a right to receive instruction in Catalan andSpanish
  44. 44. The Balear Islands● Oct. 2010: Bauza pledges to repeal the LanguageNormalization Law● Dec. 2011: Mallorca TV discontinued● June 2012: Catalan language no longer mandatory forcivil servants; Catalan schooling no longer mandatoryunder 7 years.● Oct. 2012: published draft of decree reducingminimum of Catalan instruction from 50% to 20%;13% of elementary classes start instruction in Spanish● Nov. 2012: the Balear government withdraws from theRamon Llull Institute
  45. 45. Suprem Court Rulings● Dec. 9, 13 & 16, 2010; May 4, 10 & 19, 2011● Declare normalization of Catalan languagealready achieved● Enjoin the Generalitat to take steps to adaptthe teaching system to the situation createdby the Constitutional Court ruling and makeSpanish a medium of instruction alongsideCatalan in a “reasonable” proportion
  46. 46. ● June 12, 2012: the Supreme Court annulsparts of the 2008 Generalitat decree settingthe curriculum for pre-schools (3-6 years)► Strikes down individualized support inSpanish as discriminatory & eliminatesrequirement to petition for Spanish instruction► States a “right to receive instruction in one’sown [habitual] language”→ “School activities must be allowed to be done inSpanish when students’ everyday [habitual]language is the common language of allSpaniards”► Denounces “juridical insecurity” in the right toreceive instruction in Spanish
  47. 47. Demonstration "Catalonia, a newEuropean state"• September 11th, 2012• Organized by the NationalCatalan Assembly• 600,000 people (source:Spanish Government)• 1,500,000 people (source:city police)• 2,000,000 people (source:organizers)
  48. 48. Sept. 11th 2012: "Catalonia, New European State" demonstration
  49. 49. • Sept. 20: Madrid rejects the proposal for a "taxagreement"• Sept. 25: Artur Mas announces snap elections
  50. 50. Sept. 26: Sovereignty Resolution"The attempts to incardinate Catalonia into the Spanishstate, and the latters repeated reactions, are a dead-endstreet. Catalonia must start its national transition based onthe right to decide.""The Parliament of Catalonia realizes the necessity that theCatalan people be allowed to freely and democraticallychoose its common future and urges the Government toimplement a popular consultation during the nextlegislature."
  51. 51. Sovereignty Resolution
  52. 52. • Numericaldefeat of CiU• Decline of thesocialist party• Growth ofsovereignty &unionist partiesElectionresults