Puigdemont vows to push ahead with referendum despite new warning from court
Barcelona (CNA).- New clash between the Catalan Government and the Spanish judiciary. On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court officially notified the Generalitat about the suspension of the referendum allocations foreseen in the 2017 budget, warning the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and all the members of his government about the criminal consequences of disobeying the suspension. Undeterred, Puigdemont responded that the referendum plans won’t be stopped. “We will keep going,” tweeted Puigdemont, and included a picture of the five Court notifications against the plans for a referendum that he has received so far.
The Catalan Government spokeswoman, Neus Munté, confirmed that the executive will appeal the suspension on the grounds that the organization of “electoral and participatory processes” is a competence “recognized” by the Catalan Statute, the organic law that defines the powers of the Catalan government. After a Spanish government complaint, the Constitutional Court suspended some sections of the Catalan budget: a €5 million line item for electoral processes, a €800.000 allocation for promoting voter turnout and a line that refers to the possibility of calling a referendum with or without the Spanish government's consent.
Munté said she “deeply” regretted that “the only answer” offered by the Spanish government to Catalonia continues to be “lawsuits and threats”. Following a similar message given by the President, Munté stressed that the Catalan Government is still aiming at “organizing a referendum in agreement with the Spanish state”. However, the Catalan Government has also confirmed on multiple occasions that if Spain refuses to negotiate an agreement, Catalonia will proceed with the referendum anyway.
Vice President Oriol Junqueras also went to Twitter to stress that “the will of the people cannot be stopped”. Junqueras said that a referendum has the support of “the Government, the Parliament, the local city and town councils, and Catalan society”. “We are keeping going and we will keep going.”