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Compte enrere

26 d’oct. 2017


Below is my letter (October 26 2017) to Dr. Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights


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23 d’oct. 2017

Foreign Minister Dastis' incendiary claims (BBC 23/10/2017)

Abridged selection (made between 11.30 and 12.20 today October 23), on the Dastis interview on the BBC Andrew Marr show yesterday (latest on top; many that link to same URLs have been omitted) 

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22 d’oct. 2017


This is an English translation of an interview with Prof. Josep Maria Nadal, former President of the University of Girona, who was beaten with a Spanish policeman's baton during the October 1 referendum and had to be treated in hospital for his injuries.


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21 d’oct. 2017

Their 155 can end up backfiring in their face


Legal analysis by Marcel Mateu, professor of Constitutional Law: "To put into operation some of these measures would require various complicities that they may not necessarily manage to achieve"

President Rajoy's government has decided to completely liquidate the autonomy of Catalonia and has approved another New Scheme Decree (Nueva Planta, the 1716 decree) making itself a custom-built article 155. It has given itself a blank check, ignoring the Constitution and the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia. The PP Government, with the complicity of the PSOE and Ciudadanos, has radically destroyed the autonomous system unilaterally, changing some of the pillars that held up the autonomous edifice, and eliminating what little political autonomy remained. For, in actual fact, a few weeks ago, under the euphemism of the economic intervention of the Generalitat, the political character of autonomy had received a death-blow, and now they have put it out of its misery, twisting article 155 of the Constitution to make it say what it literally does not say.

Article 155 allows the government to "give instructions" to all authorities of the autonomous communities (which is enough in itself!), but does not exempt it from complying with the law, and therefore the measures that are taken and the instructions that are given may not contradict the law. And all the measures that the Cabinet has agreed, all of them, directly violate the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia ("EAC", which is an organic law of the State). The Statute lays down that the president of the Generalitat can only be elected by the Parliament, from among its members (article 67.2) and the causes of his or her replacement (art. 67.7) do not include his or her dismissal by the political decision of the Spanish prime minister, not even with the endorsement of the Senate. T
he appointment and dismissal of the rest of the members of the Government is only up to the President of the Generalitat to decide (article 17.1 of Law 13/2008). The early dissolution of the Parliament and the consequent election call is a political decision that the Statute attributes to the exclusive prerrogative of the President (art. 75), an indelegable power, because it is the very personal power of the President of the Generalitat. No-one else can exercise this attribution, and the Statute explicitly states that even in extreme cases in which the president were to die or be barred from office on a criminal conviction, the person replacing him or her temporarily (the Vice President) could not dissolve Parliament (Article 67.8) for, in such cases, Parliament would have to elect another President from its membership. Only the Catalan Government can direct the Administration of the Generalitat (article 68.1 EAC). In accordance with the Statute that has been liquidated today, the Spanish Government had no right to veto the Parliament's activity: its legislative, budgetary or political control powers (art. 55.2). These are just a few examples, but the same could be said about the command of the Mossos d'Esquadra or the direction of the public audiovisual communication media, to illustrate that what the Government of Spain has done today is a messy reform of the Statute, bypassing the procedures laid down in the Statute (arts 222 and 223).

Now, these measures agreed upon by the Spanish government, once approved by the Senate, will have to be applied. But to implement some of these measures, a number of complicities would be needed, and they may not necessarily be achieveable, such as that of most of the civil servants of Catalonia's administration. Moreover, with a massive and perseverant response from Catalan citizens, some of these measures will not be able to be applied effectively and this may make clear that the Spanish government no longer has control over Catalan territory. It can be made evident internationally that the Spanish State, in fact, can no longer exercise a sovereign power in Catalonia. The whole business could thus end up backfiring in their face.

The decision of the Spanish government to apply article 155 of the Constitution and to do so in such a clearly illegal and unconstitutional way leaves
the Parliament of Catalonia with a single dignified solution: to make a formal declaration of independence (which is what the Law of the Self-determination Referendum stipulates), which automatically means two things: that the law that will act as a provisional constitution of Catalonia (the Transitional and Foundational Law of the Republic) will enter into force and that the constituent process must begin. Within six months.

This is not the first time the Spanish government and other state agencies assert that they defend the law and the Constitution but flout them clumsily or violate them flagrantly. The latest example is the imprisonment of the two Jordis [presidents of the two main pro-independence NGOs]. But today the government of Rajoy has definitely bulldozed the master wall not only of the autonomous system but of the Rule of Law and therefore of the Spanish democracy. When the edifice falls, we need to be outside it.

Marcel Mateu, professor of constitutional law at the UOC.

11 d’oct. 2017

Rajoy no vol reforma constitució

21 September 2017

Rajoy: “La prioridad no es reformar la Constitución sino defenderla de los que quieren liquidarla”

El presidente del Gobierno defiende posponer el debate hasta superar el embate independentista



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Constitución Española 1978

Artículo 152.
... 2. Una vez sancionados y promulgados los respectivos Estatutos, solamente podrán ser modificados mediante los procedimientos en ellos establecidos y con referéndum entre los electores inscritos en los censos correspondientes.

Ley Orgánica 4/1979, de 18 de diciembre, de Estatuto de Autonomía de Cataluña.

Artículo 56
3. La aprobación de la reforma por las Cortes Generales mediante Ley Orgánica incluirá la autorización del Estado para que la Generalidad convoque el referéndum a que se refiere el párrafo b) del apartado 1 de este artículo.

Ley Orgánica 6/2006, de 19 de julio, de reforma del Estatuto de Autonomía de Cataluña.

Artículo 223.
1. La reforma [del Estatuto] debe ajustarse al siguiente procedimiento:
a) La iniciativa de reforma corresponde al Parlamento, al Gobierno de la Generalitat y a las Cortes Generales. Los Ayuntamientos y los titulares del derecho de voto al Parlamento pueden proponer al Parlamento que ejerza la iniciativa de reforma en los términos establecidos por el artículo 222.1.a).

Sentencia 31/2010, de 28 de junio de 2010. Recurso de inconstitucionalidad 8045-2006. Interpuesto por noventa y nueve Diputados del Grupo Parlamentario Popular del Congreso en relación con diversos preceptos de la Ley Orgánica 6/2006, de 19 de julio, de reforma del Estatuto de Autonomía de Cataluña

La reforma de l'Estatut d'Autonomia de Catalunya de 2006 per part del Tribunal Constitucional -la modificació del seu text- el 2010...

(a) No s'ha fet d'acord amb l'article 223 del mateix Estatut de 2006, que va entrar en vigor a partir del 09/08/2006.
(b) No s'ha fet d'acord amb l'article 152 de la Constitució.
(c) No s'ha ratificat per referèndum.

Per tant, Catalunya té, des del 28 de juny de 2010, un marc estatutari contrari a la Constitució espanyola. Per l'acció -insòlita: és el primer cop que un Estatut és recorregut davant el TC- de les institucions de l'Estat.

Tornem a la legalitat, votant en referèndum aquest Estatut d'Autonomia de Catalunya de 2010, a favor o en contra?


Referendum on 2006 Statute of Autonomy
Yes vote: 1.899.897
Census: 5.310.103
Votes counted: 2.594.167

27 Setembre de 2015

JUNTS PEL SÍ     1.628.714   39,59   62
CIUTADANS         736.364   17,90   25
CATALUNYA SÍ QUE ES POT   367.613   8,94  11
PARTIT POPULAR    349.193   8,49   11
CUP-CRIDA CONSTITUENT  337.794  8,21 10

7 d’oct. 2017

"And in wanting to be a republic, we have learned to be a people", by David Fernandez (6/10/2017)

Even as I translated this - at times almost poetic - reflection on what happened last Sunday, my eyes watered several times. Noone, and certainly not me, can describe better the intense, unique combination of feelings that rushed, flowed, hammered through millions of Catalans that day, October 1st, the day of Catalonia's Referendum Self-determination that the Spanish government did all in its power to prevent taking place. David Fernàndez's analysis is, to my mind, brilliant; otherwise I wouldn't have translated and posted it.

**** To read the post click on "Més informació below ****

6 d’oct. 2017

Three Metaphors on Catalonia

In this post I answer three of the main questions related to the Catalan independence process, particularly in the more recent phase. I do so using metaphors -and even a fable - which even the most uninformed (or misinformed) reader will understand.

***** To read the post, click on "Més informació" below *****

4 d’oct. 2017


I never thought I would be faced in Western Europe with blocked websites of NGOs I belong to, advice on secure browsers and new encrypted social networks, friends having police confiscate things from their cars, other friends being threatened with "sedition" charges, 

Rule of Law

  • The rule of law is sacred to the Catalans and her government. But note that a majority in the Spanish parliament has deliberately amended laws to strengthen powers to be able to repress Catalan officials. A good exemple is the Organic Law on the Constitutional Court, which in 2015 was given special executive powers to ensure the implementation of its instructions. It can now (article 92) impose daily fines of €3,000 to €30,000 on officials or lay citizens, or suspend them in their duties, for not complying with its orders. The Venice Commission was critical of such changes... but such measures have been implemented against Catalans.
  • It is unheard of that a parliamentary Speaker (and membres of the Bureau) can face severe penalties for allowing a debate, and that a constitutional court can ban a debate.
  • It is unheard of that a constitutional court can actually ban a plenary session of a Parliament.
  • What law can possibly prevent a democratic parliamentary majority from legislating to put a question to its citizens? Naturally, the implementation of the majority opinion expressed at the ballot box may or not require legal changes. It may or not be in accordance with the existing constitutional framework.
  • The international covenants the State subscribes to form part of the legal framework, according to the constitution itself. And both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in article 1 para 1 are perfectly clear: "All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development." All peoples. Not just colonies. All peoples. 
  • The rule of law states that a Statute of Autonomy has to be ratified by the people in a referendum. Well, the governing party in Spain got the Constitutional court to study every nook and cranny for unconstitutional paragraphs, sentences, clauses, even individual words. The court duly amended the Statute of Autonomy in 2010. But the resultin text has not been put to the people... as laid down in the Constitution.
  • The rule of law ensures freedom of expression, yet Spain prosecutes local councillors for saying that to make an omelette you have to break the egg; the autors of a manifesto inviting Catalan football supporters at the 2015 Cup Final to do what they have been doing for years since at least 2009: to boo the National Anthem, in response to Spain's treatment of the Catalans.

3 d’oct. 2017


On October 3 2017, that is, two days after rhe referendum, I wrote this post to bitterly complain about a host of lies being issued by central government and those on its payroll.

***** Click on "Més informació" to read a longer English text *****
***** Clica a "Més informació" per llegir el text en català, i les piulades *****

Mai no he vist una sèrie tan llarga de mentides i calúmnies. Afortunadament la premsa internacional, massivament, i els observadors internacionals, massivament, i les juntes electorals poden acreditar la falsedat de les seves afirmacions, allunyades de la realitat, i segurament dirigides a mantenir un clima d'enfrontament entre espanyols i catalans que, a Catalunya no ha tingut més eco que uns nacionalistes espanyols esforçant-se a arrencar de la plaça de Sant Jaume una gran pancarta a favor de... la democràcia.

Ho explico en anglès:

Never have I seen such a long list of lies and slander, by a harmless-looking guy who's the government party's spokesman in the Congress. Fortunately the international press, massively, and the international observers, massively, and the electoral boards can accredit the falsehood of his affirmations, far from reality, and surely aimed to keep alive a climate of confrontation between Spaniards and Catalans that, in Catalonia, has not had any more echo beyond some Spanish nationalists straining to pull down in Sant Jaume Square a large banner in favour of... democracy.

I'll finish this post hastily, as I see pictures of thousands of people in plainclothes leaving the troopships where most of the Spanish police that were sent to "support" the Catalan police in keeping the Peace - without having been invited - have been staying.

That means they will only add to the agents provocateurs that have been identified in various towns, and those who arrived at lunchtime on a high speed train from Madrid from which all the passengers had been thrown out, with the single task of turning this afternoon's protests into "tumultuous riots". The demonstrations called in the last six years by the pro-independence organisations, have not caused even a scratch to anyone, and today's is in support of the fundamental human rights violated on a large scale by that police force on Sunday.

If the Spanish police stayed in their barracks, or went home, there would once again not be a single incident. But the scenario is grim: in a few minutes we shall see people draped in pro-independence flags and a pro-independence shirt, well photographed from behind by colleagues, shrieking abuse at the Spanish police and trying to provoke others into giving Madrid an excuse to apply an article in the Constitution that can effectively abolish home rule. And they need "tumultuous riots" to accuse people of "sedition".

Organisers of this afternoon's demonstrations have been insistently calling on those intending to attend them to isolate and identify these agents provocateurs. This is crucial, for only violence will give the Spanish goverment a "good" excuse.

More helicopters overhead now, at home. Let's watch the TV.

I can shoot down every single one of his claims, if anyone is interested... P.S. He'll be sued:

2 d’oct. 2017

Reply to the Taoiseach

***** Click underneath on "Més informació" for my reply *****


As a European Citizen, I am ashast, ashamed, scandalised at the Commission's position.

                       ***** Click underneath on "Més informació" for my reply *****

Spanish Police Brutality

Years ago we would have just read a dry written report: "Police attack people", "Police break down door".
Now though things have changed.

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