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20 de gen. 2019


This is a preliminary English translation of the 73-page "INFORME OBSERVATORI GARANTIES DEMOCRÀTIQUES" by Luís Remiro and Erick Álvarez. It was sent to me by the Director of the Col·legi de Politòlegs i Sociòlegs de Catalunya, with permission to post both it and an English translation on this blog.
Click here if need be to read the whole post.


Luis Remiro
Erick Alvarez


Introduction: the conflict between legitimacy and constitutional legality is the origin of the problem 3

Section I: Timeline of the process 6
1. Background 6
a. Judgment of the Constitutional Court on the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia 6
b. Consultation of November 9, 2014 7
c. The mandate of the elections to the Parliament of 2015 11
2. From 9-N to 1-O 12
a. Convocatoria del ReferéndumCall of the Referendum 12
b. Disconnection Laws 13
c. Law of the Self-Determination Referendum 15
d. Legal and Foundational Transitory Law of the Republic 16
e. Electoral Board of Catalonia 18
f. Impediment of the Right to Vote 19
g. The referendum on October 1 20
3. The declaration of independence 23
a. Initiatives for dialogue and mediation 23
b. The October 10 Declaration 25
c. The Declaration of Independence of October 27 27
4. Suspension of autonomy through article 155 30
5. 21 D Elections 33
a. Electoral campaign 34
b. Election day, vote from abroad and results 36

Section II: Analytical vision of democratic quality 39
1. The overseas vote 39
2. Media coverage of the Procés 42
3. The role of civil society and its mobilization 47
4. Political polarization 50
a. Behavior and discourse of political parties 52
b. Parties and political environment in Catalonia 52
c. Political violence, repression and protests 53
d. Emprisoned politicians or political prisoners? 55
5. An explanation of the judicialization of politics 58
a. Crimes of rebellion and sedition, impediment of investiture and fundamental rights 60
b. Observations on judicial independence, civil rights and freedoms 62

Section III: Conclusions and proposals 64
1. Democratic quality balance 65
2. Proposals of the Observatory for the improvement of democratic quality in Catalonia 67
3. Conclusions 69
References 70

Introduction: the conflict between legitimacy and constitutional legality is the origin of the problem

Ai, ditxosa Catalunya! begins the popular song that recounts the revolt of the reapers in the seventeenth century, warning about the conflict of political legitimacy that were coming and their consequences. Legitimacy conflicts are recurrent in the history of Catalonia since the death of King Martí l'Humà. Civil wars and invasions that altered its political constitution took place one after another (against Joan II, Reapers, Succession, Napoleonic period, various proclamations of the Federal Republic in Barcelona, Franco’s uprising...). At present, Catalonia is the centre of political attention in Spain and throughout Europe on account of a new problem of political legitimacy.

The Catalan secessionist process aims to change the unity of the State through democratic means. In general, these demands arise from the perception among part of the population of the lack of substantial options that Catalonia has to govern itself or to make its voice heard in collective decision-making in Spain. The 1978 Spanish Constitution configures a "single" and "indivisible" state that concentrates power at a central level despite recognizing the autonomy of the communities that comprise it. According to this vision, the constitutional status quo leaves the Catalans as a structural minority whose members find themselves in a situation of inequality to influence the policies that affect them. Although the pro-independence discourse is complex and multifaceted, there is a recurrent aspect in practically all the justifications for secession: Catalonia lacks institutional mechanisms to govern itself in areas such as taxation, immigration and social policies (Kraus, 2017).

The effects of the 2008 economic crisis in Spain and the Constitutional Court Judgment 31/2010, which repealed a significant part of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia (EAC), having been approved by three legislative bodies and ratified by referendum, can be taken as the catalyst that transformed a feeling of impotence into a cycle of protest that has ended up opening a debate about the functioning of the democratic system in the Spanish State.

The holding of the referendum on October 1, which culminated in police charges and hundreds of wounded, and the arrest of sovereign leaders have served as proof of democratic stress for the Spanish political system, which has demonstrated shortcomings in the guarantees of fundamental rights.

In this whole issue we find the principle of legality confronted with the principle of legitimacy. This debate is transversal in this report, where we approach the question of Catalonia, not from the normative or tautological point of view, but from a political and sociological vision.

Legitimacy is the support of all regimes, be they democratic, monarchical or authoritarian . We refer to the support that goes from the actors to the authorities and, in a more diffuse way, to the Public Administration, which leads to the approval of the performance, the support to the principles of the regime and feelings of identification with the nation-state, such as maximum abstract level (Martini & Torcal, 2016; Norris, 2013) .

Laws are the formalization of behaviours and conventions, and portray the power relations and dominant values of the elites that write and apply them. Although the principle of legality is fundamental for the maintenance of the rule of law, we must understand that in any democratic system laws, and in particular rigid laws, do not always manage to adapt to new demands and values that emerge from society. If the institutions do not respond to these demands, feelings of disaffection and distrust towards the authorities are created, which culminates in the loss of legitimacy, in the rupture of social cohesion and, finally, in conflicts.

There have to be mechanisms to respond to citizen demands and, in particular, those that arise from the sector opposed to the ruling elite, because democracy is based on public trust in institutions, from which it derives its legitimacy. So, to begin with, certain faculties and rights must be guaranteed, such as freely accessing information, voting without constrictions, participating in debates and expressing opinions in conditions of equality and in an environment of mutual respect, without fear of reprisals or violence. 

Given the strength and vitality of Catalan society, external observers may find the will to independence exaggerated. However, as we will review in the report, the reasons for this movement are legitimate. It is necessary to highlight the great weight of civil society actors, such as the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Òmnium Cultural (OC) or Súmate, in the articulation of the independence agenda. Unlike Quebec or Scotland, where the search for sovereignty was primarily motorized by the independence parties (the Scottish National Party in Scotland and the Parti Québécois in Quebec), the beginning of the Catalan sovereignty process in 2010 was the result of civil mobilization rather than strategies drawn up by the political elites. 

It is a complex movement since the political organizations that support the independence cause cover a remarkably broad ideological spectrum, from the PDeCAT, positioned partly in the center right, to the CUP in the far left. Its plural nature provides the movement with a high level of social legitimacy (Kraus, 2017). And no less complex and transversal are the opposing movements or those that propose federal-type alternatives. 

In this document we deal descriptively and analytically with all relevant relationships and circumstances and the characterization of the Catalan sovereignty process. The report is divided into two sections: the first chronologically describes the most important events, from Judgment 31/2010 of the Constitutional Court to the post-electoral scenario of December 21, 2017. In the second section, it analyzes certain elements present in the system politician of Catalonia and its relationship with the Spanish State, the conflict, the political parties, the judicialization of politics and material aspects such as the media and the overseas vote. Finally, we took stock of the entire process and presented the Observatory's proposals to political and institutional agents to improve the democratic quality of political processes in Catalonia.

Section I: Timeline of the process
  1. Background
  1. Constitutional Court ruling on the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia
Judgment 31/2010 of the Constitutional Court (CC), of June 28, 2010, was a watershed. The ruling is the result of the appeal filed by 99 deputies from the Popular Party, who came to collect millions of signatures throughout Spain, against Organic Law 6/2006, of July 19, on the Reform of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia [1], arguing that it was a fraudulent way to push for a Constitutional reform [2], which also involved the modification and breakage of the Spanish State. The proposed Statute was approved by the Parliament of Catalonia on September 30, 2005, with 120 votes in favour and 15 against. During its passage through the Cortes it underwent severe modifications, but, finally, it was to be endorsed in popular consultation on June 18, 2006, with the participation of 5,309,767 Catalans (108,024 residents abroad), 49.4% of the electoral census . Of these, 73.9% voted in favour and 20.7% voted against [3].
The reform of the EAC, the first since its approval in 1979, sought to adapt the autonomous regulatory framework to the new needs of Catalan society and the European reality and to protect the powers of autonomous government from a growing trend towards recentralization. The content proposed by the Parlament defined Catalonia as a nation and the Catalan people as a legal subject; it consolidated the linguistic policy with Catalan as a vehicular language and of learning in education; it reinforced the powers of the Generalitat and established a decentralized Catalan justice system of the General Council of the Judiciary and laid the foundations of a new fiscal system, increasing the collection capacity of the Catalan authorities and providing them with new financial powers (Kraus, 2017) .
It was the first time that a Statute was reformed without consensus of the two major political forces at the state level. That, coupled with political pressures and the media, made the approval process of the EAC stained with political unrest. For his part, the electoral promise of President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to approve a new Catalan statute, put him under pressure.
The ruling stated that 14 articles were totally or partially unconstitutional and indicated the narrow interpretation that should be applied to 30 additional article s, including all the points discussed above. By not considering Catalonia as a nation in a political or legal sense, or the Catalan people as a legal subject, the Statute's legitimacy did not emanate from it, but from the Spanish Constitution. The impact was enormous, not so much because it annulled a large number of article s, but because it practically emptied it of a political meaning and because it generated problems of legitimacy.
The project that reached the Constitutional court was the result of the work of two legislative bodies elected by universal suffrage plus the Senate, and then ratified via referendum, so that the text already had the support of the original power, expression of popular will. The procedural maneuvers of the appellants, such as the recusal of Judge Pablo Pérez Tremps and the attempt to prevent the extension of the mandate of the CC president María Emilia Casas, strengthened the idea that it was intended to pre-condition the ruling by manipulating the composition of the Court.
This judgment placed the principles of legality and legitimacy on a level of confrontation. On the one hand, legal positivism, which feed the language of the courts and builds the rule of law and on the other, the majority will in Catalonia, based on democratic radicalism. This confrontation has already had consequences in the social delegitimization and discrediting the performance of the CC, which is serious for democratic institutions. Judgment 31/2010 meant an imbalance in the democratic balance, and motivated Catalan sobiranism to bet on the independence of Catalonia. .
  1. Consultation of November 9, 2014
The CC judgment was a blow to the Catalan political project and shocked Catalan society. The immediate response was the first mass demonstration, on July 10, 2010 under the motto "We are a nation, we decide", promoted by OC. However, the mobilizations were only the visible layer of a conflict with multiple dimensions and deeper repercussions.
The second impact was in the elections to the Parlament of November 2010. The President of the Generalitat, José Montilla, and his party, the Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSC), which already came with a management worn out by the implementation of the declared cuts by the Zapatero Government, they ran out of their main political offer: the development of the Statute. The tripartite was to be buried [4], because not only the PSC but Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) and Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds (ICV) would lose seats, giving the victory to the nationalist candidacy Convergència i Unió (CiU), of Artur Mas, who approached the absolute majority [5] in elections where territorial discourse and local crisis prevailed over classical ideological preferences [6].
Mas's goal on reaching the Presidency of the Generalitat was a new fiscal pact with the Spanish Government to, if not resolve, at least reduce the conflict. The proposal, developed and approved by the Parlament in July 2012, had massive popular support in Catalonia [7] but found the refusal of the newly elected Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy (PP). The unwillingness of the central government to reconcile the aspirations coming from Catalonia entailed nationalist sectors, such as CiU, to take independentist positions and the independentists themselves to defend the separation of Spain as the only possible way to solve the crisis. In this way, the will was emphasized that the people of Catalonia will determine their collective future freely and democratically through a consultation, a proposal that was to be ratified after the pro-independence movement’s first victory at the ballot boxes in the snap elections to Parliament in November 2012 [8]. There was a precedent. Between 2009 and 2011 about half of the municipalities of Catalonia had already held unofficial consultations on independence (Muñoz & Guinjoan, 2013) .
The parties of the independentist environment had created a common front despite their ideological differences, generating a new dichotomy between parliamentary groups, a sovereign / unionist axis. The sovereignty route was already established, from now on the efforts would be aimed at making possible a consultation of self-determination of Catalonia and thus have the democratic legitimization for a possible separation of the Spanish State. Parliament was going to be the institutional vertex of this process as the highest body of representation of the general will.
With the declaration of the Catalan people as a sovereign political and legal subject, approved by Parliament [9] on January 23, 2013 [10] (declared unconstitutional by the CC) and the creation of the Advisory Council for the National Transition, the strategy for this stage was established, based on the right of the people to decide but trying not to get out of the legal frameworks in force and proposing mechanisms of dialogue in mutual benefit. With this spirit, a commission of deputies from the Parliament asked the Cortes to transfer powers to conduct a non-binding consultation on the political future of Catalonia, while the Spanish Constitution stipulates that the results of the referendums do not force the public authorities [11]. the Congress did not grant it by arguing that the Constitution made it impossible for a referendum of self-determination, and much less could be assigned special powers to a community, even if only to consult, when sovereignty is indivisible.
Faced with the obstacles imposed by the Congress and the prime ministerr, Artur Mas convened in December 2013 the non-binding referendum on November 9, 2014 (9N), the legal basis of which was specified in Law 10/2014, of popular consultations other than referenda, and other forms of citizen participation. The Spanish Government appealed to the CC, which suspended the call, and this the Generalitat acknoweldged, and resolved to convene a process of alternative participation [12] with the same questions as in the suspended referendum.
With regard to the guarantees of the consultation, there are two aspects: the procedual onee, in that political parties were not guaranteed to be involved in the campaign due to budget constraints, and the institutional one, in that it was not guaranteed that the State would acknowledge, or activate the mechanisms to make the results valid [13].
The turnout on 9N exceeded expectations; 2,344,288 Catalans went to the ballot boxes [14], of which 1.89 million voted in favour of declaring Catalonia an independent State.
[graph0 - Results Participate 2014] 
The lack of official recognition left the consultative process without effect. Even though the courts did not interfere on the day of the vote, it went after its promoters. After months of investigation, the High Court of Catalonia condemned the President of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, former vice president Joana Ortega and minister Irene Rigau for having been of the organization of the consultation, having failed to comply with the CC ruling and having "perverted the democratic values of division and balance of powers» [15], so they were politically debarred and sentenced to fines of €36,500.

  1. The mandate of the 2015 Parliament elections
9N did not solve the crisis. The central government remained immovable in its refusal to a referendum of self-determination and the idea of endorsing the result was imposed through an electoral process regulated by the LOREG (Organic Law of the General Electoral Regime) and of cohesion of the sovereignty forces in a new strategy that allowed them to move forward. Thus, President Mas advanced the Parliament elections to September 2015, with a "plebiscitary" character [16].
Beyond the symbolic, insofar as the figure of "plebiscitation elections" does not exist in the Spanish legal system, these elections were presented by the sovereignists as the formal beginning of the separation of Catalonia from the Spanish State. They managed to get the public opinion and the media to read them according to the independence framework, instead of the strict competences of the autonomous government that was, from a formal point of view, what they were choosing (Ballesteros, 2017).
The sovereign bloc went through a realignment. The passage of Convergència towards independence and the agreement with ERC to form a joint list (Junts pel , JxS), brought about the end of its historic federative alliance with Unió, which preferred to keep a more moderate tone and move away from the possibility of a unilateral declaration of independence. This division did not prevent the independence groups (JxS + CUP) from obtaining, once again, the absolute majority of seats in the Parliament but not in votes, weakening the weight of the referendum discourse [17]. Although the sovereignty agenda did not change immediately (once the Parliament's table was formed, Resolution I/XI, on the beginning of the political process in Catalonia was approved as a result of the election results of September 27, 2015, where «the beginning of the process of creating an independent Catalan state in the form of a republic» was declared solemnly, as was «the opening of a constituent process that supposes the democratic disconnection of the Spanish State and the insubordination to the CC, as well as the establishment» of structures of State «to replace the current Spanish institutions», was annulled by the CC three weeks after its approval, opened the idea of ratifying the will of the people through a new referendum on self-determination, despite not being included in the electoral programs.
On the other hand, a gap was opened in the pro-independence bloc that cast doubt on the leadership of Artur Mas in the leadership of the sovereignty process. After the CUP’s refusal to invest the president due to rumours that implicated him and CDC in cases of corruption [18] and the cutback measures in his first term, Carles Puigdemont was appointed the new President of the Generalitat, assuming Mas’ government plan and committed to enforce the mandate of resolution I/XI. Much of the legislative task of the Parlament in the following months consisted of the preparation and approval of the so-called "disconnection laws" (new tax code, Law of the Social Protection Agency of Catalonia, law of legal transience) (Kraus, 2017), which sought to build the legal-institutional framework of the Republic of Catalonia but which collided with the bastion of the CC, being annulled, opening again the debate between legality and legitimacy.

  1. From 9-N to 1-O
  1. Call for the referendum
The left (CUP, CSQP) pressed for the holding of a referendum on self-determination, which the Government accepted in exchange for the CUP's support for the Generalitat's Budget for 2017.
On June 6, 2017, President Carles Puigdemont announced the convocation of the referendum on the independence of Catalonia for Sunday, October 1 with the question, in Catalan, Spanish and Occitan-Aranese (the official languages of Catalonia): "Do you want Catalonia to be an independent State in the form of a Republic?", the response to which would be binary between Yes and No. [19] 
When the referendum was announced, the authorities of both the Spanish Government and the Govern, and the main political parties of the Catalan and Spanish spectrum, declared different visions. For the [Spanish] Government and the PPC, the referendum was illegal because it did not find accommodation in the Spanish constitutional order; moreover, there was an explicit promise that the vote would not take place under any circumstances. C's and the PSC, kept the same PP line; while Catalunya Sí Que Es Pot (CSQP) expressed doubts about the rules of that referendum call [20]. In contrast, for the sovereignist parties (JxSí and CUP) and the Catalan Government, the call was based on the legitimacy of the democratic mandate originated by the September 2015 elections. 
The announcement and call of a referendum for independence intensified the conflict. On the one hand, the call would require the Parlament de Catalunya to approve as soon as possible both the Legal and Foundational Transitory Law of the Republic (to establish the bases of the disconnection with the Spanish State) [21], and the Referendum Law [22]. On the other hand, the Spanish State, through the judicial power and the executive, sought to prevent it based on legal precepts of the state legal order (especially in the Constitution) and with government measures, such as the use of security forces against the citizens who participated in it.
  1. Disconnection laws
To ensure the legal application of the referendum results, the sovereignist parties had tod approve the so-called "disconnection laws". There were two paths. The most direct one was by decree law, provided for provisional legislative provisions in case of extraordinary and urgent need (art. 38.1 of the Law of the Presidency of the Generalitat and of the Government, article 64 of the EAC) [23]. Thus, the [Catalan] Government could approve a duly substantiated decree law to later communicate it to the Parlament that had to agree its validation with the possibility of later parliamentary procedure or repeal (article 38.5), which guaranteed the speed in having a legal support and the guarantees of the parliamentarians of the minority..
The other path, which had the support of the CUP, was the parliamentary initiative [24]. Recourse was made to art. 81.3 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure to include the disconnection laws on the agenda of the following plenary:
The agenda of the Plenary may be altered if agreed upon, at the proposal of the President or at the request of two parliamentary groups or one-fifth of the members of Parliament .. If an issue has to be included, this one He must have complied with the regulatory procedures that allow him to be included, except in an explicit agreement in the opposite direction, by absolute majority [25].
Consequently, the Bureau of Parliament admitted its inclusion on the agenda of the plenary session of September 6. The absolute majority of JxS and the CUP [26] made it possible to avoid ordinary parliamentary procedures, and this generated discrepancies between the members of the Parliament Bureau. The PSC and C's parliamentary groups submitted a request for an Opinion from the Council of Statutory Guarantees of Catalonia (CGE), a consultative body of the Generalitat that monitors the adaptation of the laws to the Statute and the Constitution, on the inclusion in the agenda of the proposal of a law of self-determination referendum, the reduction of the deadlines for submitting amendments and the decision not to allow the resolution request to the Council itself [27]. The plenary agreement of the CGE of September 6, 2017 [28] reminds Parliament of "the mandatory nature, within the legislative process, of opening a deadline for requesting a resolution to the Council, in guarantee of the right of Members to exercise their role" [29].
This action of the pro-independence majority was contradictory to its radical democratic discourse because it violated the parliamentary rights of the minority, as the CC acknowledged in reply to the appeal for protection presented by the PSC. It must also be stated that since the CGE is an advisory body whose resolutions are not binding since Judgment 31/2010, of June 28 of the CC [30], avoiding the process was not substantive. Viewed in perspective, doubts are cast about the Government's commitment to the transcendental steps that it had undertaken to take since it delegated all the processing to Parliament, there being urgent reasons that recommended the decree law that, in addition, had guaranteed the rights of the parliamentary minority.
Nor did the recurring practice of the PSC to alter the normal functioning of Parliament through appeals to the CC, breaking Parliament's inviolability, follow the high standards of democratic quality. We can conclude that no parliamentary group lived up to what is expected in a mature democracy.
  1. Law of the Self-determination Referendum
Law 19/2017, of September 6, of the referendum on self-determination was the first disconnection law to be processed and approved. article 1 regulates "the holding of the binding referendum of self-determination on the independence of Catalonia, the consequences based on its results, and the creation of the Electoral Board" [31]. article 2 declares that "the people of Catalonia are a sovereign political subject and, as such, exercise the right to freely and democratically decide their own political condition."
It also details the legal guarantees and holding of the referendum, such as the date and call; the characteristics and regulations of the election campaign; legal and political guarantees, including the independence of the electoral boards and polling stations, and the provision and accreditation of international electoral observers. It also creates the Electoral Board, "the body responsible for ensuring the transparency and objectivity of the electoral process, and the effective exercise of electoral rights" [32].
The Law of the Self-determination Referendum was approved in the parliamentary plenary session on September 6 with the votes of the 72 independentist deputies, the abstention of CSQP and the departure from the Chamber of Cs, PSC and PP in "sign of protest" [33]. Subsequently, the political parties in favour of the referendum were to speed up the processing of the following disconnection law, at the same time as the CC approved in a record time a resolution of unconstitutionality both because of the conditions of approval of the referendum law and its content.
  1. Law of Legal Transitionality and Foundational of the Republic
On August 28, 2017, JxS and CUP presented the proposal for a law on the Legal and Foundational Transitionality of the Republic [34] with the function of being the "supreme norm of the Catalan legal system" until the approval of the Constitution of the Republic [35]; that is to say, the law that laid brought together the legal precepts of the working in the first instance of the Republic of Catalonia were the Yes to win in the self-determination referendum.
Article 1 provides that: Catalonia is constituted in a Republic of Law, democratic and social [36]. From this statement, the later article s provide for the position of the Catalan State in the face of the European Union and the Spanish State, legal guarantees and rights over nationality, predispositions on the institutional system of the Republic, the constitution of the Judicial Branch and the disposition of open a constituent process. The following are briefly summarized below:
  • Maintain the nature and position of European Union law and international treaties with respect to domestic law (article 4). Legal continuity of the current law (article 10) and with regard to the law of the European Union (article 14) and current international treaties (article 15).
  • Right of nationality of origin (article 7), acquisition of Catalan nationality (art.8) and double nationality. article 9 establishes that the attribution of Catalan nationality does not require the resignation of Spanish nationality, or any other. Guarantees linguistic rights (article 24) and the right to suffrage for Catalan nationals (art. 26.2).
  • Title IV, chapter 2 states that: The president of the Generalitat is the head of the State and assumes his highest representation [37]. Likewise, it is established that the president or the president directs the action of the Government. (art. 34). In these are generated the bases of the institutional system of the Republic. The same title includes the constitution of the Electoral Board (which is also foreseen in the Law of the referendum [38] ) that will have to regulate the constitutional elections and attribute powers to it in the other electoral processes, popular consultation and citizen participation (Chapter 5). The Electoral Board of Catalonia and the electoral roll). Finally, the compulsory attributions of the opinions of the Council of Democratic Guarantees (art. 61) are available in contrast to the powers challenged by the CC of the current CGE.
  • Regarding the adequacy of the judiciary, the Superior Court of Guarantees is created, which will protect the rights proclaimed by Catalan law on the one hand, and on the other hand, it would assume the functions attributed to the CC (art. 74) [39]. Additionally, article 80 states that the Generalitat will assume all tax competencies in the territory of Catalonia (art. 80), as well as the protection of tax obligations and social security contributions (art. 81). [40]
  • Finally, the Law contemplates the implementation, from the Generalitat, of a "constitutional, democratic, citizen-based, transversal, participatory and binding process", in case of "favourable outcome of the independentist option" (art. 85). In the same way, art. 86 resolves that this process will consist of three phases: "a first, participatory process; a second constituent election and drafting of a Constitution proposal by the Constituent Assembly; and a third, ratification of the Constitution via referendum ".
Parliament's plenary approved Law 20/2017, of Legal Transitionality and Founding of the Republic at the dawn of September 8, 2017 with the 71 votes of JxS and CUP and the vote of the non-attached; 10 against CSQP and the abandonment of the Cs, PSC and PP hemicycle [41].
  1. Electoral Board of Catalonia
After approving the Self-determination Referendum Law, Parliament chose the members of the Electoral Board, an organ responsible for guaranteeing the transparency and objectivity of the electoral process and the effective exercise of electoral rights [42]. Approved by absolute majority, at the proposal of JxS and the CUP, it was composed by the jurists Marc Marsal, Marta Alsina and, the politólogos Jordi Matas [43] and Tania Vege and Josep Pagès, a jurist, a political scientist and a sociologist. This composition balanced a vision more based on the positive law with a vision derived from the analysis of the political and social context.
There were two problems. The first was that the EAC stipulates that the electoral law requires 2/3 for approval. The second was the challenge to the CT by the Spanish Government of the disconnection laws, which implied suspending the referendum of 1-O and all orders or acts for its realization.
On the basis of this suspension, the High Court, on September 21, decided to apply "coercive sanctions" to the members of the Sindicatura: fines of 6,000 (territorial electoal boards) and 12,000 (central syndicate) euros per day, until they renounce their charges [44]. Such measures and the judicial persecution of its members would lead to the dissolution of the Electoral Board officially due to the resignation of its members [45].
  1. Voting Right Disposal
*************************************************On October 1, 2017, the Self-determination Referendum of Catalonia was celebrated in spite of the suspension ordered by the CC and the police measures taken by the Spanish Government. Despite the excessive use of the force of the Spanish police, the organization of civil society and the impulse of the authorities of the Generalitat facilitated the exercise of the right to vote.
Since the approval of Law 19/2017, referendum on 5 and 6 September 2017, the Spanish Executive Power took measures of a political and judicial nature, through initiatives of various ministries and the presentation of legal remedies to prevent the vote of 1O.
The Spanish government presented four appeals to the CC that suspended both the law and the referendum call, and actions were initiated by the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Finance and Public Service, the Ministry of Justice and the State Prosecutor-General's Office, intended for the Catalan authorities to ban the vote:
  • Order of the State Prosecutor-General to the Civil Guard, National Police and Mossos d'Esquadra to seize ballot papers, ballots, instruction manuals for electoral tables or other types of propaganda [46].
  • The State Prosecutor-General's Office summons 712 mayors of Catalonia as suspected of assigning polling stations. The detention is ordered in case of incompetence.
  • Intervention by the Government of the regional accounts and assumption of the budgetary control of the Generalitat under the Ministry of Finance and Public Service given the Government's refusal to continue sending reports on its expenses.
  • Detention by judicial order of fourteen senior officials of the Government, carried out by the Civil Guard. Registries in the Departments of Economy, Foreign Affairs, Labor and Government of the Generalitat, in search of material related to the 1O [47].
  • CC fine of €12,000 per day to members of the Electoral Board of Catalonia.
  • Wide deployment of forces and security bodies of the State called the Copernican Operation promoted by the Ministry of the Interior, with the mobilization of 6,000 agents of the National Police and the Civil Guard [48], with a large number of Police Intervention Units or riot police [49], for the application of judicial directives to seize polls and prevent voting. In appearance before the Senate in January of 2018, the minister of the Interior, Juan Ignacio Zoido, revealed that the Executive had  spent €87 million on the operation.
El Sindic de Greuges de Catalunya [50] issued a statement on September 26, 2017 that evaluated the judicial appraisals of the Spanish authorities. According to the document, beyond other possible crimes, such as disobedience or sedition, related to the suspension of the referendum regulations, the convocation in itself was not a crime; and, therefore, should not be used as a legal motivation.
(..) the convocation of general, autonomic or local elections or popular consultations by referendum conducted by authorities or public offices lacking in competition, ceased to be a crime pursuant to Organic Law 2/2005, which repealed article s 506 bis and concordant, introduced by Organic Law 20/2003, which punished with the arrest of 3 to 5 years the mentioned calls (..)
  1. The referendum on October 1
Days before, members of the Government appeared before the media to communicate the census of just over 5 million voting voters, which had enabled 2,315 voting centers, 6,249 tables and given functions to more than 7 thousand people [51]. In spite of the political-judicial measures of the Spanish State, including judicial orders that prevented the opening of polling stations for voting, the referendum on self-determination was carried out through the almost clandestine organization of Catalan citizens; as well as the qualification of electoral colleges in places like public schools, institutes or public civic centres.
Thousands of citizens took part, some from the previous night and most in the early hours of Sunday, October 1, awaiting the ballot box. At nine in the morning, the Generalitat de Catalunya announced the implementation of the universal census [52], whereby all citizens could exercise their right to vote at any polling station, in anticipation of the impending closure of polling stations by Spanish police forces.
The ineffectiveness of the measures carried out by the Spanish Government generated frustration in those responsible for politicians who, despite having used all kinds of resources, could not prevent the opening of voting centers, which resulted in the use of the compulsion against the people who had come peacefully to exercise their right to vote on the part of the forces and bodies of security of the State.
The tense hours happened in the morning. Members of the Civil Guard and the National Police, with anti-riot clothing, burst into the polling centers where hundreds of people had been concentrated to defend them peacefully and prevent their closure. Police charges occurred in different areas of Catalonia and left 1,066 people injured [53], the majority attended by multiple bruises.
Spain is party to international conventions and treaties, such as the European Convention on Human Rights [54] and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [55], and has the duty to safeguard the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and the proper use of force on the part of public order bodies; Likewise, it must guarantee the effective enjoyment of said rights. Consequently, the police action of 1Oct violated the civil and political rights, both of the victims of police violence, and of those who were prevented from exercising their right to vote.
Likewise, the rules on the use of force require that the police use alternatives wherever possible. [56] Spanish law regulating the Civil Guard [57] and the National Police Corps [58] and their respective ethical codes protect citizenship rights and foresee procedures when it is necessary to use force, with limited personnel and a force that is proportionate to the potential threat, always seeking to minimize damage and injuries.
There are several reports and complaints at the local level, as well as the response from the European community, foreign media and international institutions and organizations, about the disproportionate nature of police action and the possible violation of human rights.
In the Report on Violations of Civil and Political Rights promoted by human rights organizations in Catalonia under the "SomDefensores" initiative and "In the face of repression, we defend human rights" [59], the direct transgression of rights to physical and moral integrity, freedom of expression, opinion, reception and communication of information or ideas and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly are reported.
In an investigation on victims of police violence, Human Rights Watch [60] issued a report questioning the police action and urging the Spanish Government to comply with the obligations set out in the international human rights treaties in force in the Kingdom of Spain. The report likewise maintains that the institutions of the European Union and its Member States must formalize their position towards the Spanish authorities on the compliance of the national and European laws that protect the rights of the people.
The turnout data were the countermeasure to the actions of the Government of Spain. The results gave a resounding victory to "Yes to independence". According to the count, 2,286,217 people voted (43% of the census), with 90.2% of the valid votes being affirmative. Apparently the police violence actions were counterproductive and encouraged participation. There were not many doubts about this result, although it must be remembered that the Electoral Board had dissolved and that the vast majority of supporters of No abstained not only from taking part but also from monitoring the process. 

  1. The declaration of independence
  1. Initiatives for dialogue and mediation
The episodes of violence on 1Oct were the crudest expression in a conflict that, unless something was done, looked likely to continue escalating. A polarized scenario was formed, with an additional social tension component resulting from the legal-institutional incapacity to respond to a sector of the population that conceives self-determination as the path to overcoming the crisis. Given this scenario, the priority is to achieve a minimum consensus among the political actors to make feasible a governance agreement. Dialogue became one of the priorities for the Catalans and the lack of it, one of its main problems [61].
Organizations (national and international), collectives and figures of the social and cultural field, and the international community promoted initiatives to promote dialogue between the Spanish and Catalan governments, political parties and other involved parties [62]. The Ombudsman [63] issued a "proposal for dialogue and mediation in the current context " by making it available to the authorities to mediate and organize a table of understanding. The feminist groups Aristofánicas / Nosaltres Parlem [64] and Coordinadora 25-S [65]. They presented, respectively, a roadmap focusing on the negotiation for the resolution of the conflict. The same they did, for a dialoged and peaceful exit, the Spanish Episcopal Conference [66] and initiatives such as that of the Bar Association of Barcelona [67]. From the Facebook profile "Hablamos?", gatherings were called was in front of the town halls of all the municipalities of Spain to take the citizen initiative for "dialogue and coexistence" between Spain and Catalonia [68].
But this conception of dialogue was based more on the agreement between ruling political elites, inherent in the representative democratic system (Straface & Page, 2008), that a broad social dialogue, which is not subject to previous binding conditions [69]. For this reason, the College of Politicians and Sociologists of Catalonia (COLPIS) issued a statement [70], recalling the role of dialogue as the basis of modern democracies and considering "urgently and necessary that all the parties involved accept an international mediation". "This mediation should rebuild relations and favour a negotiated solution, in the well understood that all options are legitimate; that no initial political conditions can be imposed on any of the parties that enters into the negotiations in a subordinate position and that public opinion must regad this agreement as reasonable." The proposal was sent to international mediators and presented in Brussels on October 13 .
Non-governmental organizations, such as The Elders [71], and Nobel Peace Prize-winners [72], international organizations, from the European Commission [73] to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [74], without taking sides in favour or against the process, rejected the violence and abuse of the 1Oct police force and called for dialogue and understanding. However, despite the request for international mediation by President Carles Puigdemont [75], international organizations left the mediation processes in the hands of the Spaniards themselves. Paradoxically, the two main figures of the Spanish State did not address the need to initiate a peace process through dialogue. Felipe VI in his message of October 4 [76] did not mention the words mediation or dialogue, not once, but instead called on "the legitimate powers of the State - to ensure the constitutional order." Similarly, prime minister Mariano Rajoy ignored the calls for consensus and in his appearance before the media after the referendum he merely stated: " We have done what we had to do, acting with the law and only with the law " [77]. Before this blockade of the dialogue, the situation continued to aggravate.
  1. The Declaration of October 10
The post 1Oct scenario made it clear that, despite the dialogue initiatives, neither party would abandon (or make more flexible) its position and probably could not do it for reasons of electoral sociology.
The next step in the disconnection laws was to apply the popular mandate expressed in the referendum and declare the independence of Catalonia. However, the situation became complicated, while the concern for the economy was added. Political uncertainty affected the form of high volatility of financial markets [78], generating contractions in the shares, with the fall of -2.85% of the IBEX 35 [79] in only 3 days. The response of some companies to the possible separation of Catalonia and the fear of a massive leak of deposits was to transfer their social headquarters outside of Catalonia [80] seeking to eliminate uncertainty and reassure investors and savers. Some companies also received political pressures, including the Crown, to withdraw their headquarters [81]. Several risk graders [82] as well as the IMF [83] warned that extending the conflict between the two States could "depress business and consumer confidence" in Spain and especially in Catalonia that, if continued with unilateral independence, could even enter into recession if it was not recognized by any European nation and, therefore, excluded from the euro zone [84]. These pressures introduced asymmetries of power in which some business interests were identified as a general interest, prevaling even over popular will, and conditioned public opinion through the fear of losing economic security.
However, the negative impact on companies was not significant, as shown in a Pimec study [85], and even the transfer of the corporate headquarters did not imply a greater economic impact than the collection of taxes at the local level [86].
The volatility, it had also poured into the streets. Unions and sovereign entities convened the general strike (or stop of country, as it was a partial employer closure) through the " Table for democracy " movement in defense of Catalan institutions and freedom. The call was not only to "stop" all activities on October 3, but also to demonstrations in all the cities and towns of Catalonia [87]. For its part, on October 9, there was a massive demonstration on the streets of Barcelona convened by the Catalan Civil Society, in rejection of a possible "dialogue or mediation" [88] that would entail the secession of Catalonia.
In this context, October 10th arrived [89], the day scheduled for President Carles Puigdemont to present the results of the referendum and declare independence in the face of great expectation of society and the media. His speech in Parliament was sui generis; for he appeared as a representative of an autonomous government, but in order to declare the independence of a State. The speech was loaded with a historical content that sought to justify and legitimize the sovereignty process, using all the restrictions imposed on the autonomous community and describing the current situation of the conflict, emphasizing the attitude of the Spanish State in the face of the general will and support popular "majority" expressed in the referendum of the 1st, aggravated by the hostile and persecutory attitude of the Spanish Government with the Catalans and making clear the incompatibility of the political system of Spain with Catalonia.
The surprise came when the President proclaimed independence, legitimated by the 1-O, but immediately asked the Parliament "to suspend the effects of the declaration of independence so that in the following weeks a process of dialogue with the Spanish State will be undertaken" [90] not to extinguish any possibility of a transitional peace process, and to the threat of intervention of autonomy through the application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution [91]. The request for dialogue was not welcomed by the Spanish executive, since prime minister Mariano Rajoy immediately appeared before the media to declare the subsequent application of 155.
The day culminated with the signing of a document that provided for the entry into force of transitional laws and proclaimed the "Republic of Catalonia as an independent State" [92] but that, in not being voted by the Parliament plenary, amounted to a symbolic declaration without binding legal value.
What happened on October 10 generated controversies in all political sectors. Carles Puigdemont, proclaimed and suspended the Catalan Republic, a decision that created more uncertainty and confusion than clarity about the next steps to follow and left a bittersweet taste that was highly debated by public opinion, which was divided between applauding moderation and condemning it for no complying with the popular mandate.
  1. The Declaration of Independence on October 27
The Referendum Law, (suspended cautiously by the CC [93], established the last steps in the independentista route. However, the suspension of the effects of the declaration of independence of October 10 provided a new opportunity to initiate a dialogue process. Nevertheless, the President of the Government Mariano Rajoy, after rejecting any mediation process, considered it impossible to mediate between "the law and disobedience" [94], asked the Government of the Generalitat to confirm whether or not the independence of Catalonia had been declared, and if so, it gave an 8-day period to return to "legality" [95]. Failing to comply with the requirement, he would request the Senate to adopt the measures necessary for the fulfillment by Catalonia of "its constitutional obligations [...] under the provisions of article 155 of the Constitution" [96].
President Carles Puigdemont responded through two letters: The first one mentioned the events of 1O, called for moderation and requested a meeting that would never be held to explore possible agreements. The letter mentioned the need to "reverse the repression against the people and the Government of Catalonia" [97], before the citation as imputed, of the leaders of ANC, Jordi Sànchez, and OC, Jordi Cuixart and the mayor of the body of Mossos d'Esquadra, Josep Lluís Trapero. The presidential letter of President Mariano Rajoy would arrive the same night that the judge of the National Court, Carmen Lamela, ordered the entry into jail without the right to bail, for alleged crime of sedition, to " the Jordis " [98]. In the letter, the Spanish prime minister separated from the actions of the other public authorities (CC and National Court), recommended "dialogue" in the space prepared for it (the Congress) and demanded to clarify if on October 10  independence had or not been declared, since in the event that it had happened, there would be no alternative to applying Article 155, sacking the Government of the Generalitat and the "return to the constitutional legality of Catalonia " [99].
Before the deadline was reached, the President of the Generalitat sent another letter to President Rajoy warning that if he did not agree to dialogue, the declaration of independence would be voted in Parliament, making the separation of Catalonia of Spain formal [100].
This exchange of correspondence was to be useless and did nothing but drag out the inevitable. oince the deadlines had run out, the Cabinet of October 21 decided to request authorization to the Senate to cease the President, and the Government of the Generalitat and call elections within a period of 6 months; to give veto capacity to the central Executive against any initiative approved in the Catalan Parliament, which would remain open but not being able to propose a presidential candidate [101]. This intervention to the autonomous community was based on article 155 of the Constitution and, to enter into force, it had to be approved by absolute majority in the Senate.
After creating an ad hoc commisttee in the Senate [102] to study the application of article 155, the discussion and foreseeable approval of the intervention for October 27 was stipulated, giving President Carles Puigdemont the possibility of appearing and arguing against the application of Article 155. The only window that the Spanish government opened to curb the cessation of the Government was fo the President himself to call an election and give up continuing the pro-independence process. Puigdemont, meanwhile, refused to go to the Senate and sent a letter to the committee exposing "the danger" of applying a measure of "generic and of indeterminate breadth", which would deprive Catalonia of its institutions and violate its political autonomy [103].
The plenary of the Parliament to proclaim the new Republic of Catalonia was also convened on October 27. Officially, the lifting of the suspension of the declaration of October 10 was voted. The resolution, jointly proposed by the  JxS and CUP parliamentary groups, was voted in secret to "protect MPs from political persecution" [104] and got 70 votes in favour, 10 against and two blank votes. The MPs of C's, the PPC and the PSC withdrew from the session in protest. The text of the declaration of independence urges the adoption of the decrees necessary for the issuing of the documents proving the Catalan nationality; to promote "the signing of a double nationality treaty with the Government of the Kingdom of Spain"; to dictate the necessary provisions for the adaptation of the law in force before the entry into force of the transitional law; to recover the rules suspended by the CC, especially those that have to do with tax measures and the fight against inequality; to promote the international recognition of the Republic, to recognize the validity of international treaties; to integrate - unless expressly requested otherwise - the officials of the General State Administration that provide services in Catalonia, and of the civil servants of Catalan nationality who serve in Spain outside of Catalonia; to agree on the necessary measures to exercise the fiscal, social security, customs and cadastral authority; to promote the creation of a public bank; to open a negotiation with the Spanish State about the rights and obligations of an economic nature "assumed by the Kingdom of Spain" and to develop a proposal for the distribution of assets and liabilities [105].
In the immediate vicinity of the Parliament, and later in Plaça Sant Jaume de Barcelona there was a concentration to celebrate the birth of the new Republic. For them, it was the materialization of years of struggle but "difficult times and tension" were still to come, in the words of Marta Rovira, the MP and secretary general of ERC, in the plenary session of the proclamation; and they did indeed come as the response of the Government of Spain and the Senate was the immediate application of article 155.
  1. Suspension of autonomy through article 155
Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution was conspicuous on the political agenda of the Government to combat what they called the independence "challenge". The application of this article was considered as a last resort by the Spanish State to prevent the consummation of the will of Catalan citizens expressed in the results of the 1Oct referendum.
But these results collide head-on with article 2 of Spain's Constitution [106]: The Constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation, the common and indivisible motherland of all Spaniards, and recognizes and guarantees the right to autonomy of the nationalities and regions that integrate it and solidarity between them.
This declaration of national unity generates criticism in broad sectors of Catalan society. First of all, Spanish territory includes a multiplicity of nations that were not historically assimilated. The national feelings of some parts of Spain created historical processes to recognize their culture, territory, language and legal structures that culminated in political institutions. To some extent, the application of article 155 would violate the right of the nations of the Kingdom of Spain to be recognized as such.
On the other hand, the Constitution was the culmination of a transition process in which the greater part of the political actors of the time made great concessions for the maintenance of social peace. The precept of the national unity of Spain was a secular aspiration of the Spanish State that introduce the Bourbon monarchy introduced in 1714, in force for centuries as a national status quo and not as an expression of the will of its peoples. Although the analysis of this type of constitutional provisions can generate a passionate and broad debate, it is not necessary in this report to investigate the details of its legitimation, but rather to present in general terms the possible constitutional and procedural inconsistencies for the application of such severe measures as article 155.
Resuming the case, the executive of Mariano Rajoy resort to federal coercion [107], framed and justified in the unilateral defence of the constitutional order and in Spain's aforementioned national unity. Thus from the Proclamation and Suspension of the Catalan Republic of October 10, 2017, the entire political-state machinery was deployed for the application of article 155 of the Constitution; a constitutional article without legal development as to its scope or the actions to be carried out in the event of its application. So a mechanism without practical precedents and of little determined legal scope, open to multiple interpretations, was applied.
Be that as it may, article 155 of the EC grants discretional powers to the central government to intervene and demand the enforced compliance with constitutional obligations:
If an Autonomous Community does not comply with the obligations established by the Constitution or other laws, or act in a manner that seriously undermines the general interest of Spain, the Government, prior to requesting the President of the Autonomous Community and, in the event of non-compliance, with the approval of an absolute majority of the Senate, may take the necessary measures to force the latter to enforce those obligations or to protect said general interest [108].
But the application of this article contrasts with the "right of self-government and autonomy of the nationalities and regions that integrate the Spanish territory" of article 2 of the Constitution. Moreover, the way in which the executive asked the Senate for approval of the actions framed in the 155 lacked the necessary legal motivation for the scope that was required, since this provision does not contemplate the framework of action, deadlines or justification necessary required for its possible approval.
In any event, the request presented by the Decision of the Cabinet of the Government of Spain to the Senate for approval [109] (Resolution of October 27) was justified by "the extraordinary gravity of the breach of constitutional obligations and the conduct of actions seriously contrary to the general interest by the Institutions of the Generalitat of Catalonia" [110]. The resolution included:
  • Authorisation for the Government to suspend parliamentary procedures, dissolve its legislature and the subsequent call of an electoral process.
  • Authorisation for the Government,  for "the creation of the bodies and the appointment or designation of the authorities that are necessary for the performance of the functions and for the fulfillment of the measures contained in this Agreement".
  • "The sacking of the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia and of the Minister of the Department of Interior in the exercise of the functions provided for in article 164 of the EAC, and, where appropriate, of the dependent authorities; The exercise of said functions will correspond to the bodies or authorities created or designated by the Government of the Nation, which may dictate direct and obligatory instructions to the members of the Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra."
  • "The organs or authorities created or designated by the Government may decide the deployment of the State Security forces in Catalonia, coordinating the action of the Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia."
  • Authorisation for the Government for the correspondence of powers in the matter of telecommunications and digital services run by the Generalitat of Catalonia.
  • "These measures will remain in force and will be applicable until the new Government of the Generalitat takes office".
  • The Government, finally, may "put to the Senate modifications or updates of the initially authorized measures, the origin of which will, if appropriate, be decided by the authority or body that is created or designated for this purpose."
They were powers of exception based on an interpretation of the almost authoritarian rule of law that gave the central government total discretionary powers to adopt measures for the maintenance of the alleged constitutional order.
Parallel to this, the Parlament approved the Declaration of Independence unilaterally in which the Law on the legal and foundational transitionality of the Republic came into effect as did the beginning of the democratic, citizen-based, transversal, participatory and binding constituent process" [111] as provided by the Law. With the carte blanche of article 155 of the SC, the Spanish executive implemented all the indicated measures, putting down the political process that sought independence, through the force of constitutional law.
Organizations such as ServidorsCat consider this use of article 155 to be unconstitutional. They argued that a mechanism of such a scale could not be used as part of the political strategy of the Government party. They added that its application could not be implemented as a blank check in which the rule of law and social coexistence depended on the discretion of political power and the unilateral interpretation of the law [112].
  1. 21 December Elections
After the authorization of the Senate to apply article 155 of the Constitution; the Government dissolved the legislature that emerged from the election on September 27, 2015 through Royal Decree 946/2017, of October 27, to cal elections to the Parliament of Catalonia and its dissolution (BOE, 28.10.2017). The election was set for December 21, 2017. The call was one of the central measures of the application of article 155 due to the refusal of the Catalan President to convene elections and the subsequent Declaration of Independence. The decision was made within the framework of the available powers of the State to maintain "the unity of the nation and the constitutional order" and was motivated by the non-attention of the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, so that the same proceeds to the "Compliance with his constitutional obligations and the cessation of his actions that are seriously contrary to the general interest."
It was an atypical call, made by the constitutionally dubious application of a regulation that granted extraordinary powers and not from the powers of self-government, and this gave rise to an anomalous electoral campaign.
  1. Electoral campaign
The campaign featured the absence of the political leaders of the main pro-independence parties since the candidates, Oriol Junqueras (ERC), Joaquim Forn and Jordi Sánchez (JxCat) were in pre-trial detention [113]. Judge Llarena did not motivate his decision on the risk of escape, but on the risk of criminal reiteration arguing that this possibility could have "serious, immediate and irreparable consequences" [114], and this amounted to an intrusion of the judicial power in the political processes.
Thus, though list leaders Oriol Junqueras (ERC) and Carles Puigdemont (JxCat) could be candidates and be elected, saw their participation in the campaign limited. People in exile (Puigdemont and former ministers), found it limited to telematic means of communication and those held in prison could barely itake part in the campaign.
Consequently, the circumstances of electoral competition were uneven, since the parties could not participate in equal conditions and with an impartial institutional referee [115] at their disposal. This abnormality conditioned the parties' speeches and strategies, which framed the electoral campaign towards the conflict over the right of self-determination, leaving other problems on the social and economic situation. This is how the path to 21 December denoted a broad coverage of the calculations and speculations on parliamentary geometry, forgetting electoral promises, initiatives and public policy proposals to improve the general situation of the citizenry as a whole, and this was to lead to a democratic deficit in a hypothetical Government Plan focused on the current powers of the Generalitat.
The Democracy Volunteers organization issued a Report on Regional Elections in Catalonia and media coverage in the electoral campaign, where twenty-three (23) media were analyzed during each day of the campaign, including media such as La Razón, ABC, El Mundo, El País, El Periódico, TVE, TV3 and various radio stations [116]. The independent investigation concluded that the coverage of the press in Madrid was biased against independence and the political options that defend it. They affirm that "there are important indications that such coverage has not contributed to a fair reflection of the political debate" [117].
Newspapers such as La Razón or ABC "have supported the campaign of unionism with enthusiasm" [118]. It also mentioned Catalunya Radio, who received criticisms and sanctions from the Central Electoral Board for apparently breaking the impartiality that a public medium must maintain; However, RNE was partial, supporting unionism without any sanctions or criticism [119]. Finally, the coverage of TV3 stands out, which it considers balanced and proportional to the two sides of the debate on independence, in contrast to TVE, that maintained a biased coverage in favour of unionism [120].
Graph 1, Attitudes of the Printed Media on the Independence of Catalonia [121] 

Graph 2, Attitudes of Rado Media on the Independence of Catalonia [122]  

Graph 3, Television Media Attitudes on the Independence of Catalonia [123] 

  1. Electoral day, overseas vote and results
The election day passed uneventfully for the voters, but there was uncertainty about the reliability of the results [124]. The rejection by the Central Electoral Board of the presence of international observers  , arguing that it was not appropriate because the Spanish electoral legislation did not foresee them [125], did not help. The Observadors per la Democràcia (ODEM) report, in collaboration with the College of Politicians and Sociologists of Catalonia, dated December 27, 2017, questioned this decision:
The Central Electoral Board has made decisions during the election campaign that have been debated intensely by a relevant part of Catalan society to the point of questioning even its impartiality [126].
In parallel, it recalled that both "the Organic Law of the General Electoral Regime and the Spanish Constitution recognize the right of transparency and information (article 20)". And that "the international agreements ratified by the Spanish State under the UN, the European Parliament and the OSCE, as well as the 1990 Copenhagen Document, require signatories to adapt the legislation to allow the presence of observers whether they are foreign or national" [127]. The conclusion of the observation mission of the ODEM, limited focusing especially on the mechanics of voting, is that no significant irregularities or incidents have been identified and high electoral participation stands out. However, on the overseas vote, the Mission has highlighted the short time to vote and has gathered complaints from voters around the world who have not been able to receive ballots in time to vote [128].
The winner was the bloc of the old Govern (ERC and JxCAT), with 66 seats and 43% of the total votes (32 ERC; 34 JxCAT), exceeding the 62 seats of 2015. With the CUP's 4 seats (4.47%), they totalled 70 seats (47.5% of the votes) out of 135. The bloc that fought for independence again won a parliamentary majority.
In comparison with the preceding processes (autonomic elections, 9Nov and 1Oct), in 2014 1,861,753 people voted for independence while in 2015 they totalled 1,966,508. On 1Oct [2017] the barrier of 2 million was exceeded (2,044,038); on December 21, 2017, despite the fact that the elections were imposed by the Spanish Government, support grew to 2,063,361 [129], with a històric 81.94% turnout of the electoral roll (5,322,269 [130] people), and without including the overseas vote.
Regarding this, the Informe sobre el vot exterior: Defectes i millores en el procés electoral del 21 de desembre del 2017 (Report on the overseas vote: Defects and improvements in the electoral process of December 21, 2017) [131], carried out in the framework of the campaigns of the international network of Catalans al Món, assessed the deficiencies of the campaign and the electoral process, and in particular the negative effects of the vote on the participation index (turnout). The report argues that the very fact of having to apply to vote, and the deadlines and procedures for voting, hinder the optimal exercise of the right to vote outside the national territory.
According to the data, the implementation of the requested vote, in effect since 2011, has reduced the participation of Catalan citizens abroad between 10% and 30%. Following the report, it was identified that of 226,381 Catalan and Catalan voting rights registered in the CERA on 21D, only 39,521 petitions (17.46% of this census)  were received. The report finds particularly serious that only 27,173 people of those that applied,  that is, 68.7% of the applications, managed to do so; that is, 30% of the citizens who had followed the procedure could not finally vote [132].
In spite of everything, the difficulties in the overseas vote surely did not influence excessively in the final result. A majority of these suffrages went to the pro-independence bloc with 54.15% [133], a total of 14,647 votes (11,94% of the total of the CERA registry).
In relation to the overall results, the pro-independence bloc was the clear winner with 2,079,340 votes and 70 seats [134]; Although C's was the most voted list, with a spectacular rise, achieving 1,102,099 votes (25%) and 36 seats (11 more than in 2015). The following were the PSC with 602,969 votes (13.94%), 17 seats; CatComú with 323,695 votes (7.48%), 8 seats; CUP with 193,352 votes (4.47%), 4 seats; and finally, the PPC with 184,108 votes (4.26%), 4 seats [135].
In conclusion, the conditions were atypical and unjust because they were summoned from the extraordinary power and doubtful constitutionality of the application of 155, because ERC and JxCAT had their heads list in prison and exile, respectively, due to the distortion of the vote requested, the impediment to international observers by the Central Electoral Board, the disproportionality and the lack of neutrality of the coverage of the Spanish media regarding the political options of the process
Be that as it may, the election gave the victory to, and reaffirmed, the pro-independence option. The spectacular rise in C's compared to 2015 could be explained by the rise in the historical turnout index, the expenditure that the political formation spent on the campaign or the shift of former PP voters on account of the "useful vote". In any event, the "constitutionalist bloc" that they formed with PSC and PP could not build an alternative Government majority.
The immobilizing attitude of the Rajoy Government was to be reflected more clearly in the days after the 21-D elections, with the obstruction of the formation of a new Government of the Generalitat chaired by Carles Puigdemont (head of the JxCAT list), intensifying the conflicte-ridden relationship between the Spanish State and the part of the citizenry in favour of self-determination. 

Section II: Analytical vision of democratic quality
In this section we analyze the possible explanatory causes of the deficit of democratic quality in Catalonia.
  1. The  overseas vote
The overseas vote was a historical vindication of emigrés and Spanish exiles in the period of democratic consolidation. The political participation of residents abroad is vital for the modern democratic system because it is a concretion of universal suffrage. This right is guaranteed and regulated in Organic Law 5/1985, of June 19, of the General Electoral Regime (LOREG). All adult citizens enrolled in the census of absent resident voters living abroad (CERA) have the right to vote. [136] [137].
The transformations operated in the economic and sociodemographic structure in the international context, such as European integration and globalization (Valiente, 2003), have strengthened migrations in recent years. In Spain, the 2008 economic crisis intensified the exit flows (González-Ferrer, 2013) . According to the National Statistics Institute [138], in February 2002 the number of voters enrolled in the CERA was 1,036,111; by February 2018, it had reached 2,040,705, an increase of 97%. Although the increase of the CERA does not give the overseas vote a leading role, in the election to the Parlament of December 21 they granted one more  MP to the PP in Tarragona [139].
As Mahamut (2012) affirms: "If there is a controversial element that affects the fundamental right of political participation in our democratic history, it is undoubtedly the different substantive and formal aspects that affect the exercise of the active suffrage right of the Spaniards who permanently reside abroad" (2012: 260)
The overseas vote has been problematic and full of difficulties since its inception due to procedural and organizational failures. The bureaucratic errors that have caused them to be full of irregularities and obstacles began with the first CERA, which was formed from the current census in 1985 without cleansing, and caused the emergence, for example, of voters who were deceased [140]. With the collaboration of the INE, the voting boards cleansed this and by 2008 they brought the irregularities down to 0.45% [141].
In spite of these efforts, in 2011, the Congress approved a reform of the Electoral Law (LO 2/2011, of January 28) [142] that suppressed the right of suffrage of the resident or absent Spaniards in the local elections (repealing article 190 of the LOREG) and imposed the requested vote (a format that article 190 of the LOREG contemplated in local elections) in all elections (Mahamut, 2012). This reform hindered the vote of residents abroad with the idea of ​​combating fraud. However, the additional obstacles generated multiple allegations of people who tried to vote and could not do so [143], which resulted in a significant drop in participation in the overseas vote [144]. The graph [145] illustrates the effect of the "requested vote" in the election participation of Catalan residents abroad:
Figure 4. Percentage of voting participation abroad

In the election [146] on the 21st of December 2017 there were only 39,521 requests from 226,381 Catalans registered in the CERA with voting rights, that is, 17.46% of the census [147].
According to the Informe sobre el vot exterior: efectes i millores en el procés electoral del 21 de desembre del 2017 (Report on the overseas vote: effects and improvements in the December 21, 2017 electoral process) by the international network Catalans al món, the fact that you have to request the vote means that the deadlines for receiving the ballots are shortened so much that about 30% of those registered who did the proceedings correctly could not vote. There are other anomalies, such as that recorded by González-Ferrer (2013), on the differences between the real number of emigrants and the number of people registered in the CERA because the high costs of registering (transfer to the consulate, decline of the register in Spain) do not compensate for the few benefits (it does not even secure the vote for the delay of the ballots). Finally, there were complaints about the opening of votes by mail in the consulates prior to the day of totalization, due to lack of observers in the consulates and for lack of unified criteria on the treatment of the votes,which opened the possibility to fraudulent actions and questioned the transparency of the process. These deficiencies make the effectiveness of suffrage not guaranteed, undermining the quality of the democratic system.
Some recommendations of the CatalansAlMon report to guarantee the participation of residents abroad are:
1. Delete the requested vote.
2. Offer ballots in the consulates without having to request the vote.
3. Improve the voting instructions by mail; add graphics, differentiate envelopes with letters, numbers or colors to minimize bureaucratic errors.
4. Make the process more transparent: that the INE publish the total of votes handled (not only the final scrutiny): total votes received in the consulates, votes received at each polling station, votes cast and total votes scrutinized. 

  1. Media coverage of the Process
An assessment of democratic quality has to include the conditions of freedom of expression of the media because coverage of a political event allows its exposure to the community as an event of public and social interest. The diversification of the media system is a good symptom of freedoms, but in such polarized communication systems, as in Spain, it is also necessary to take into account the right to citizen information.
That the media, both from Barcelona and Madrid, differ in the treatment information of the same facts of the Catalan process is inferred intuitively. Therefore, we must analyze and identify the coverage that national and international media offer the process of Catalan independence, hoping to find a different treatment of information not only in Spain and in Catalonia, but also internationally and it is possible to ask Information offered by the media guarantees citizen rights to information or erodes the democratic quality of the political system?
Among the studies on differentiating media treatment in the national context, Dr. Doctoral dissertation emphasizes. Ricard Gili Ferré [148], which identifies the effect of the type of coverage of the national media in the perception and formation of opinions regarding the Catalan process. The research partly states that "the media have a privileged role in the process of social construction and play a central role in legitimizing or delegitimizing a political project" [149]. In this way, the so-called "fourth power" has a power that democratically should belong to the will of the citizen. It is expressed that media such as El Mundo and ABC "tend not to expose the reasons that lead Catalan citizens to mobilize and, therefore, not to explain the causes of the Catalan process, generating a decontextualising effect" [150].
The thesis describes the editorial preferences of El País, La Vanguardia, El Periódico, Punt Avui, El Mundo and ABC. As seems intuitive, the evaluation of events related to independence is covered with a negative outlook in most newspapers except in the Catalan newspaper El Punt Avui. In the same way, the thesis maintains that the newspapers analyzed "present narratives or contradictory and incompatible stories among themselves" [151]: The narrative structures are annulled mutually in this area, and this "self-destructive dichotomy" fragments the trust of citizens in the media system.
(..) on the same facts and the same political project - the Catalan Process - incompatible narratives are often constructed, since those of means are opposed to those of others. In other words, there are narrations that annul each other: either they are certain or are the others - or perhaps it is not one of them -, but it seems impossible that all can be true at the same time. A paradigmatic example of this: El Mundo and ABC turn the Catalan Process into a project that links the Catalans to nationalism, sectarianism, etc. On the contrary, El Punt Avui presents the Catalan Process as a project that triggers the Catalans, which frees them from a Spain that it considers oppressive and contrary to Catalan interests [152].
In the case of the Spanish press, a "demonizing" account of Catalanism and the right to self-determination has been generated mainly through biased coverage, disproportionality and quality in the published information and even the content of editorials. Analogies of citizens that manifest themselves in favour of independence with Nazism or attribute to the process issues that do not have to do with the political debate no longer cause surprise [153].
The Report on the informative treatment of the 1O of the Audiovisual Council of Catalonia [154] examines coverage of charges and episodes of police violence and concludes that a large part of national and international media provided acceptable coverage, giving the required attention to the scale of the event. 

Table 1. Programming of all channels during 1 Oct [155] 

The report shows the disparity between political positions. It can be seen that TV3 and La Sexta have been the medias that have given most space to all political positions and to the victims of police violence. International media, a large part of them printed editorials critical of the police action. The differential of coverage was so great that apparently a citizen outside the Spanish State could be better informed about the day than a citizen in the same national territory.
They are not isolated facts but a generalized practice. In the Media.Cat yearbook, "Media Silences" are reported that violent actions against people who are pro-independence are not covered in the Spanish media. [156].
Table 2. Distribution of information on TV3 [157] 

Table 3. Distribution of information on TVE Catalunya [158]

The situation of the media has been eroded in such a way that Reporters Without Borders has expressed its concern, assuring that "during the last quarter of 2017 there has been an unresponsive atmosphere for the freedom of information in Catalonia" [159] and notes that the tension, as well as attacks on Catalan journalists during the police charges on 1-Oct, pressures several Catalan newspapers for publishing information about it and the legal summonses to media such as Nació Digital, El Nacional.cat, Vilaweb, Racó Català, Llibertat.cat and El Punt Avui [160] hinders the exercise of the profession.
In conclusion, the role of the media has been hampered by editorial decisions and the coverage and treatment of information regarding Catalonia, which has made it difficult for citizens to enjoy the right to quality information. It is necessary to add the fake news that is spread quickly by the social networks, breaking the political environment.
  1. The role of civil society and its mobilization
Collective action is central to political dynamics since it is cooperation between individuals with common interests to achieve a public or collective good. They do not originate at random times but in response to political situations, such as breach of promises or disapproval of certain actions, when the State or other actors (institutions, private companies, international organizations) are more vulnerable to such actions (Tarrow, 1988). A cycle of protests is a phase of intensification of conflicts and confrontation between dissidents who seek change and authorities seeking to maintain the status quo (Mueller & Tarrow, 1995; Tarrow, 1988). In the case that concerns us, Judgment 31/2010 of the TC meant an imbalance in the democratic balance that motivated the Catalan sovereignty to bet exclusively for independence, opening a series of protests with mass demonstrations.
The first was the rally We are a nation. We decide called by OC against the ruling issued by the TC in 2010, where about 1,100,000 people marched through Barcelona according to the City police [161]. The following was the 11-S of 2012 with the motto "Catalonia new State of Europe", on the National Day of Catalonia, which opened a cycle of annual mobilizations called by OC and the ANC of magnitudes surpassing one million people for five consecutive years, a period in which the independence movement increased its popular support [162]. Graph 1 shows almost parallel tendencies of preference for independence with the Help demonstrations for this.

Own elaboration. Source: Generalitat de Catalunya / Guardia Urbana and the Barómetro de Opinión Política of the Center d'Estudis d'Opinió.
Civil society has played a fundamental role in this cycle of mobilization. The article "Movilización en la sociedad catalana: aparición y pervivencia" ("Mobilization in Catalan society: appearance and survival") by M. del Carmen Lindez Borrás, published in the magazine Clivatge, reviews the origins and support of this mobilization. She argues that the origins of the movement cannot be considered as a consequence derived from the context but rather have historical roots.
"In our case, the nationalist social movement in Catalonia cannot be explained solely by considering it as a political event, or only from the existence of an organization that articulates and gives shape to the movement, or only from the existence of a Catalan collective identity. History shows that there have been political actions perceived as contrary to the interests of Catalonia and organizations that demanded secession, while Catalanism as a bearer of a collective identity has existed for many years."
And the independence movement, led by civil society organizations such as OC and ANC capable of drawing political parties, is ideologically plural. In an ideological linear plane, they are distributed both on the right, centre-left and revolutionary left, although the movement is skewed to the left. This plurality contributes to transversal mobilizations from a substratum that does not underlie in the context but is due to historical and cultural reasons.
On the other hand, the Catalans who do not support independence have also carried out massive concentrations, especially since 1Oct. Most have been summoned or supported by entities such as Sociedad Civil Catalana and have had representatives of PPC, C's and the PSC. The largest one took place in October 2017 with the participation of 350,000 people according to the City police [163]. In the ideological plane, they correspond to preferences that are more in agreement with the right, centre right, centre-left and even the extreme right. Consequently, it is also a transversal movement, although slightly smaller than that of the independence movement and its appearance corresponds more to the political context, partly because the defence of the status quo only becomes active when it is really in danger.
A particular phenomenon in the anti-independence movement should be mentioned. We refer to the "Platform for Tabarnia", a citizen movement [164] that has appeared as a critical parody of the independence movement, impelling a Tabarnia Republic annexed to Spain [165].
The mobilization of Catalan society is essential to understand the process, its evolution and its impact on the system of political parties. And given that we find massive opposing mobilizations, one may ask if Catalonia is a polarized and highly divided society.
  1. Political polarization
The ideological, economic or religious polarization between opposing groups is a source of social conflict and therefore an obstacle to political progress because the levels of conflict increase with the magnitude of polarization (Esteban & Schneider 2008; Esteban & Ray 1999; Montalvo & Reynal-Querol 2005, Duclos, Esteban & Ray 2004). Polarization results from the interaction between intragroup identity and intergroup alienation (Esteban & Ray, 1994). Heterogeneity and political polarization form a scenario that is prone to conflict (Esteban & Ray, 1999; Torcal & Martini, 2013) because the political elites of the competing groups seek to constantly impose themselves over the other and because there is a climate of intergroup mistrust among citizens. Social trust is essential for the consolidation of the democratic system and, in particular, for the good performance of political and economic activities, as well as being the basis of social cohesion.
In a polarized society, members of a certain group with common values, beliefs and goals feel socially or ideologically separated from the rest, so that the population ends up concentrating around a small number of well-separated poles. The notion of polarization is relevant for the analysis of the democratic guarantees in Catalonia because we have to verify if the political and social tensions result from two simultaneous dynamics: identification within the reference group and distance between one or several other groups in competition, following Esteban & Ray (1994):
1. Social polarization is a systemic attribute that occurs when groups are the crucial actors. Insulated individuals have little weight in the calculation of polarization.
2. The level of polarization increases with the degree of homogeneity within each group.
3. There must be a high degree of heterogeneity between the groups.
4. The number of sizeable groups has to be relatively small. 
A state of polarization can have multiple expressions in political parties, the media, etc. and is configured through topics that divide the population. The electorate in Catalonia, in addition to the division between right and left, is also drawn up around national attitudes (national identity, state-territorial integration). Disaffection from Spanish institutions, national attitudes and support for the independence have configured an attitudinal axis placing "centralist uniformitarianism and independence as extreme poles that include, in intermediate positions, decentralization, autonomism, federalism, etc."(Botella, 1984: 39).
Although the existence of intermediate options and the fragmentation of the Catalan party System - a result contrary to the one expected by the literature (Esteban & Schneider, 2008) - deny the hypothesis of polarization at present, there is a risk of polarization around centralist unionism and Catalan independentism. Not because these options are worse or less legitimate than supposedly "intermediate" options, but because the mix of poor institutional performance and normative positivism has created an inability to respond to a problem that has been germinating for years. In representative democracy, parties are still key in conflict management and the aggregation of interests, as well as in the formation of opinions and behaviors (Martini & Torcal, 2016). We recall that the parties: 1. Provide a source of identification; 2. Frame the debate on specific issues and 3. Seek to establish their ideology (Druckman & Lupia, 2016; Druckman, Peterson, & Slothuus, 2013; Martini & Torcal, 2016), so it is up to them to avoid a scenario of political polarization
Political parties and groups have to urgently undertake the creation of a minimal consensus on governance to fetter the trend towards polarization in Catalonia. As an alternative to a conflicte-ridden scenario, an inclusive deliberative process on the future political status of Catalonia, which explores the reasons for the rejection of much of the population to the autonomous state, the federal state and the independent Republic, appears to be the solution. From political science and sociology, all are legitimate choices that depend on citizen preferences but any move forward must be inclusive, must adapt, reassure and respect the rights of the supporters of the losing options. 

  1. Behaviour and discourse of the political parties
The decision of the CC in 2010 altered the political stability of Catalonia and Spain, generating a conflict that has progressively escalated with massive demonstrations, the blocking of the most important decisions of the Parliament, the intervention of the autonomy, the cessation of the Government and the opening of criminal proceedings. This section analyzes the impact that the behaviour, positioning and strategies of the parties have in Catalonia and its impact in the Spanish political system. 

  1. Parties and political environment in Catalonia
The Catalan population has provided a majority mandate for the application of the right of self-determination, but it is necessary to differentiate the positions and attitudes of the Catalan parties before 1O and those of after the 21D elections.
Before and just after 1O, PDeCAT and ERC, which were part of JxS, set the agenda together with the CUPs based on the popular mandate that emerged during the 2015 elections. Consequently, the other parties had to maintain reactive positions and attitudes.
After 21D the behavior changed not because of electoral results or the fall of social support, since the independentist parties maintained the majority, but because the one who established the agenda was the Spanish Government with the application of article 155 and the proceedings of the prosecution. Now, whoever takes reactive behaviors is the independence majority, outraged by prison revenues and other decisions that they consider excessive.
We must add the institutional blockage. JxCAT and ERC have extensively presented candidates for the Presidency of the Generalitat. Carles Puigdemont was the first option, but was blocked by the TC to understand that a distance investiture was unconstitutional, then Jordi Sánchez, prevented from exercising his political rights by judicial decision, and, finally, Jordi Turull, who was not elected by The vote against the CUP and sent to prison before the second ballot. This judicialization of politics modified the speeches. JxCAT, still defends the investiture of Carles Puigdemont. In the same line is the CUP, with nuances, while ERC has a more pragmatic approach, to look for a President without pending judicial cases.
In relation to the party block that approved the application of article 155 (C's, PSC and PPC), C's, which was the most voted party in the elections to Parliament, has maintained the clearest discourse against the process. He demanded from the beginning the thorough application of article 155 and appealed to the completion of the Catalan process as they stated that the "silent majority" in Catalonia is not independent. His speech, moreover, was framed in the defense of the rule of law as the only solution. The PPC remained in a similar line, and both parties did not denounce police violence during the referendum day. The PSC maintained a nuanced vision, since it was fit for the independentist parties to return to "sanity." In any case,The three insist on accusing sovereignists of preventing the formation of a government without a candidate who "has pending questions with justice."
CatComú-Podem, was in an ambiguous position. He maintained and defended the right of self-determination through a referendum agreed with the Spanish State but disapproved of the strategy of the independentist bloc. Regarding the violence of 1-O, they denounced the actions of the Government of Spain to the same extent as the Catalan sovereigns.
At state level, no blocks are distinguished. The PSOE de Sánchez and the PSC of Iceta maintain the same position in fundamental questions of the process. C and PP maintain exactly the same position as their Catalan counterparts and We can have tried to stay between the two fronts, opening up proposals for dialogue. It emphasizes the position of PNV (Basque Nationalist Party), which remains reluctant to support the general State budgets given the application of 155 and the exceptional situation that the central Government has caused in Catalonia and is likely to influence a potential distension .
. At this time, there is a danger that competition and the stirring of political parties feeds social polarization. There are very few initiatives to solve the conflict through the dialogue and the practice of politics little margin of maneuver, due to the negative electoral incentives.
  1. Political violence, repression and protests
The 2017 was especially convulsive in Catalonia. The closer to 1O, the more the situation escalated. Given the Rajoy Government's warning of blocking the process and ceasing the Government of the Generalitat, the protests became more frequent. The question we ask in this section is not who has been the author of what or who has started what. The relevant question is why situations of repression and conflict are generated and what mediates can solve them. We will start with a compilation of facts.
The days before the referendum, in the concentration of protest against the Civil Guard registry to the Department of Economy and the arrest of 12 Generalitat charges, there was a police charge and the destruction of two police cars [166].
Juvenile organizations of the far left, such as Arran, painted sites of the PPC and C's by cataloging them as "fascists" [167]. It should be remembered that the venues of the parties are spaces for political participation and participation, so that graffiti and graffiti harm the ideological freedom and fundamental rights and freedoms, making it difficult for the parliamentary-representative system to function properly. Although all parties suffer from these types of attacks, which occur from different ideological options, it must be remembered that PPC and C's have suffered them more intensely and that PSC, ERC and CiU gave support in their moment to the normalization of driven slaves by ICV [168].
The climax was 1O, when members of the Civil Guard and the National Police with anti-riot clothing burst into the polling centers where hundreds of people had been concentrated to defend them peacefully and prevent their closure. Police charges left 1,066 people injured [169].
Subsequent to 1O, the entry into prison of the presidents of OC and the ANC, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, and eight members of the Government and the exile of the President, Carles Puigdemont, took place. The response was a peaceful demonstration of hundreds of thousands of citizens under the slogan of " Political prisoners of liberty. We are Republic " [170].
The call for new elections, after the government ceased, channeled the conflict without solving it. The Spanish State has blocked the investiture of a new President of the Generalitat. The TC prohibited the investment of Carles Puigdemont, exile, and the precautionary measures of the Supreme Court, prevented the investiture of Jordi Sánchez, in preventive detention, a condition that does not suppress its political rights in theory. The last case was Jordi Turull, sent to prison the day before the second investiture vote [171]. The income in prison, as well as the arrest of Carles Puigdemont, in Germany [172], they fired the tension again and with a new wave of demonstrations and police repression that were fed back [173].
Outside the strictly political area, the impediment to present the article collection on "Political Prisoners in Spain" in the Arc Gallery in Madrid.
These dynamics do not lead to anything constructive because freedom is the heart of the democratic system. For Descartes, freedom consists in the possibility of deciding without which an external power determines us. Understanding that freedom, in the modern sense, does not exist in absolute terms, the democratic ideal is materialized by guaranteeing certain powers and rights such as voting without constraints and participating in debates and expressing opinions in an environment of respect without fear of reprisals or violence. Democratic politics are based on the plurality of ideas and, above all, on the permanent opposition to contrary ideas. Managing freedoms helps us to distinguish between regimes (Simone, 2016) and its restriction leads to a deterioration in democratic quality.The set of political forces must reflect on their role and we must appeal to their social responsibility beyond their apparently rational electoral maximization behavior because we are not facing a scenario of zero sum.
  1. Political prisoners or political prisoners?
As of May 1, 2018 there were nine people in custody. The arrest on March 23 of the elected deputies Josep Rull, Raül Romeva, Carme Forcadell, Dolors Bassa and Jordi Turull, who were released on bail, has been the last movement registered by this report. In the same way, President Carles Puigdemont was arrested on March 25 in Germany [174], in a joint operation of the CNI with the German police and the National Police and although it was released on April 6, the possibility of extradition and admission to prison in Spain is still open.
The three independentist parties, as well as OC, ANC and other social organizations consider themselves to be political prisoners. So, are there political prisoners in Spain? There had been no general talk of this type of cases in Spanish territory since 1976. People in prison are investigated for rebellion, sedition and embezzlement of funds; However, the content and form of the records dictated by the National Court and the Supreme Court [175], as well as the Spanish Government's statement that no public money had been used to finance the 1O, it forces us to analyze the real motivations [176].
From the first arrest warrant to the jordis, dictated by Judge Carmen Lamela of the National Court, criminalizes the aspiration for Catalonia to be independent. Según Professor of Law Javier Pérez Royo " n or habido is not a solo sentido acto de violencia in criminal violence as .." on people "who Puedo imputársele to nationalism. The same thing can not be said of the acts of the State with regard to nationalist mobilization. " It is clear when we are going to justify the detention to make calls to" (..) to promote and ensure the holding of the illegal referendum of independence and thereby proclamation of a Catalan republic, independent of Spain .. " and argue a risk of "criminal reiteration" to operate " within an organized group of people, continuously and continuously carrying out active and necessary collaboration activities in relation to the actions of people, organizations and movements aimed at achieving outside of the legal channels the independence of Catalonia against the rest of Spain in a process that is still underway " [177].
The most worrisome, and that shows the disproportionate and punitive application of the law against independence, it was the decision of Judge Pablo Llanera of the Supreme Court before the appeal that requested the freedom of the Forn consellor. Even though he has resigned his act of deputy, ruling out the possibility of influencing the process of independence from the Generalitat, in the car argues that he must continue in prison because he has not given up his ideology: "the investigator, in expressing his legitimate freedom ideologically, logically maintains its sovereignty ideology, which, although being constitutionally valid, does not assume that it should be reluctant to evaluate that the conviction that maintains allows a reiteration of the crime that would be absurd in which the opposite ideology " [178]. The decision makes it clear that it deprives an individual of freedom for his ideas.
But only those who support the sovereignty process refer to these as "political prisoners." International amnesty (AI) [179], the UN [180] and other states and organizations that have expressed opposition to the arrest and urged to liberate the independence leaders because it violates the democratic system and generates a "dangerous precedent for the rest of the world" they do not classify them as "political prisoners", nor as "prisoners of conscience". AI only uses that expression for people who should not be punished in any way, deprived of their freedom solely for the exercise of their human rights or for certain elements of their identity and, therefore, have done nothing that can be interpreted legitimately as a crime .
Law professors such as Javier Pérez Royo and Joaquín Urías do not label them as political prisoners, since this term is incompatible with that of a democratic State [181], but consider that the Spanish State has incurred in democratic deviations that configures a "situation objectively contrary to fundamental rights" [182].
In this report we can not answer clearly the question raised but we find that the entry into prison of the leaders of the sovereignty process has served as a stress test for the Spanish democratic system and the result is a lack of guarantee of fundamental rights. Although the concept of political prisoners is incompatible with the democratic State, the ideology of the independentist leaders conditions their freedom so that we are faced with a low quality democratic State. The explanation for this deterioration is that the State has decided to reduce political risks and protect itself at the expense of the rights of its citizens, which also calls into question the solidity of the rule of law that is said to be a defendant.
  1. An explanation of the judicialization of politics
The effect of the Catalan question on the behavior of the Spanish judicial system is a topic of great importance briefly dealt with by the media and even less studied by social researchers.
Although it is still in scientific debate, we resort to the hypothesis of Esptein and (2005) on the effect of crises that threaten the security of a nation in judicial decisions. Such crises encourage justice to limit civil rights and political freedoms more likely than in situations without such stimuli [183]. In this way, judicial decisions taken in exceptional circumstances may lack the necessary justifications and motivations and, at the same time, limit rights, freedoms and constitutional principles parallel to national security or even higher prevalence.
The application to the Spanish case would be: before an event that conflicts with different constitutional principles, the principle that historically has formed a larger scale institutionality (Unity of the Nation freed up to the Law of Autonomy, conceived both in the same article of the EC) prevails. . In situations that stress the system, such as the search for self-determination from the territory, the judiciary reacts by defending the "dominant" principle perceived as "threatened".
Thus, there is a greater likelihood that a conservative inclination prevails in judicial systems and that exceptional measures be adopted that curtail the limits of the right to reduce the "perceived threat" and restore the status quo . Can this hypothesis be extrapolated and, therefore, the Catalan question stimulates the conservative behavior of the Spanish judicial system?
The "safeguard" of the informal institution, "Unity of the Nation", historically and formally shaped in the 1978 Constitution, has been the guiding principle of the State's powers against the process . It is defended by the majority in the Cortes Generales, since it responds to a state of public opinion that considers its defense as a priority. The incentives of electoral sociology also explain the decisions of the Spanish Government, reluctant to actively tackle the pressure generated by the process, but rather with police and judicial measures, as well as with the extraordinary measures envisaged in the institutional framework, such as the application of article 155 of the EC, the most powerful manifestation of the so-called federal coercion in the Spanish State. With that it prevented a high electoral cost for its party at national level
The process clearly identifies the limitations of democratic political action in Spain because of the constraints that the constitutionality of the State exercises over political participation. The concept of the rule of law, which normatively should generate certainty ends up being a destabilizing factor by blocking the democratic legitimization of the system. This explains why the Rajoy Government opted for the extraordinary measure that caused the most discomfort and that it had to be carried out by bringing almost the extreme the institutional backgrounds of the Senate, the Prosecutor's Office and the Judicial Branch. This "legal solution" to a problem that warrants a political agreement has distorted fundamental principles of the rule of law such as the adequate and proportional interpretation and use of the law, the protection of civil rights and the enjoyment of political freedoms.
Applying the most powerful options but at the same time being the most transitory and inefficient, it has obstructed the democratic dynamics and imposes the normative staticism justified in interpretations of the law unilateral and based on legal positivism. Consequently, does the "mantra" of the law empire can be used indefinitely without having consequences in coexistence and other basic principles of society ?, and where has the role of politics, negotiation and consensus in the search of a democratic solution in a matter with high social support?
To answer these questions, the considerations of several organizations, magistrates and professors who have analyzed the question are collected. Such assessments will allow, at least from the descriptive point of view, to identify the existence to some extent of what is argued in the first paragraphs.
Two dimensions are seen in decisions that have limited the enjoyment of rights and freedoms. The dimension regarding the decisions of the TC regarding the people in prison; and another regarding the possible relationship between the restrictions of fundamental freedoms with the stimulus that could have generated the last events of the Catalan question (especially the referendum and the Declaration of Independence) in the behavior of the Spanish judicial system. Additionally, it Recoger rating on the judicial independence.
  1. Crimes of rebellion and sedition, impediment of investiture and fundamental rights
Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart, former presidents of ANC and OC, were charged for the crimes of sedition (article 544, Criminal Code) and rebellion (article 472, CP), involving severe prison sentences of up to 15 years for sedition and 25 by rebellion, have been seen unjustified by a large part of jurists and analysts because the motivation to impute these penalties must necessarily be the existence of "a public upsurge and tumultuary to prevent, by force or outside the legal channels, the applications of the laws " [184] for sedition and "violent and public uprising to, among other objectives, repeal, suspend or modify the Constitution or whole or partial or declare the independence of a part of the Spanish territory" [185] for rebellion
Montserrat Comas de Argemir, spokesman for Judges and Judges for Democracy in Catalonia, states that "the crime of rebellion requires that a public uprising be violent." He continues arguing that the Attorney General's interpretation has been "that the acts that have been carried out on the independentist road map are constituting a type of violence that is coercive or intimidating"; In turn, the Supreme Court has appealed to that reason to justify the charges. And it ends, although there has been presumed disobedience to the resolutions of the TC, this crime does not in principle contemplate prison sentences of freedom and "they can not integrate the crime of rebellion because there has not been the physical violence against people, nor have there been occupation of institutions, or violent demonstrations .. " [186]
The most representative episode of legal interpretation apparently biased in the decisions of the Supreme Court was to prevent Jordi Sánchez from exercising his fundamental right of participation under the justification of the risk of "criminal reiteration", breaking the principle of political equality (arts 14 and 23.1 of the Constitution [187] ). Sánchez is deprived of freedom but is not politically incapacitated by a firm sentence. His legal representation asked the Chamber to instruct the case that " the immediate agreement of Mr. Sánchez or subsidiary the necessary measures so that, in the exercise of his fundamental rights, Mr. Sánchez can go personally to the investiture debate planned for the next day March 12, 2018 " [188]. The Supreme was prevented again in April following the resolution of the UN Human Rights Committee that urges Spain to take all necessary measures to ensure that Jordi Sànchez can exercise his political rights [189].
Jurists like Javier Pérez Royo have repeatedly valued the motivations and interpretations of the constitutional regulations applied in this decision. For Pérez Royo, the only way to prevent the exercise of fundamental rights of the EC of this magnitude is whether the accused, who was proposed by Roger Torrent, President of the Parliament, in accordance with the provisions of the EAC, was convicted by a final judicial ruling and therefore without a parliamentary charge.
If "the right of suffrage can only be limited by a final judicial ruling for a crime that results in the loss of the exercise of the same" [190], the arguments to prevent Jordi Sánchez go to investiture debate fall by his own weight (no condition that motivates them) In this way, the magistrate of the Supreme Court would be violating both the right of passive suffrage of the defendant and the one of active, of the Catalan citizenship that voted it in the 21D. Pérez Royo considers that the charges of the crimes of rebellion and sedition do not adhere to the legal order requirements and, finally, it exposes that the judge's decisions "accredit his lack of impartiality" [191].
  1. Remarks on judicial independence, civil rights and freedoms
The high use of judicial decisions as the only resource to face political situations in the Catalan process has raised criticism and attention calls. Although several reports that critically analyze the situation of the Spanish judicial system do not directly link this deficit with the political-judicial decisions against the process, the observations and valuations that they generate, can help us to identify the imperfections of democracy in Spain.
Since the reform of Gallardón in 2013, which modified the composition, appointment and functions of the General Council of the Judiciary [192]; the Spanish judicial system has reached the lowest levels in the indexes of judicial independence in the countries of the European Union [193].
Another interim injurious measure was the TC reform of 2015 [194], which attributes executive title to its resolutions and gives it coercive powers to carry out its execution. This reform was carried out to extend the legal powers of the State to "deal with the implementation of the so-called unitary roadmap of the Catalan sovereignty process" [195], signed by parties and independentistas associations the same year.
The "Communiqué on political interference in the Judiciary and in the TC", issued by "Judges and Judges for Democracy" on February 5, 2018 [196], expresses concern about his lack of independence regarding political power. The first point express, that "within the Annual Report of the European Commission on the state of justice in the countries of the European Union; Spain appears as the third State with the highest percentage of people perceiving that justice is not independent. " And "according to the aforementioned study are the inferences and pressures of the Government and the policies implemented the main reason for such perception" [197]. In the same vein, the "statements of the Minister of Justice anticipating decisions of the judiciary regarding investigations framed in the process" are worrying insofar as the limits of the powers of the State are blurring, "undermining the trust of the citizens in the Courts of Justice "and eroding the rule of law. It ends by recalling the guarantees that should be applied normatively to achieve judicial independence and the imperative of the bodies of the Judiciary in "away any suspicion of bias and manipulation" [198].
In this section we have evaluated whether judicial actions apply democratic parameters in their legal interpretations and we have found evidence of biased interpretation, a situation that does not deserve minor attention, and that coincides with decisions outside the Catalan question that have to do with the transgression of rights and freedoms. Examples of constitutional institutionality against fundamental freedoms are the controversial decisions of the Spanish Courts regarding freedom of expression, such as sentences against rapists with restrictive sentences of freedom and sentences caused by "serious injuries to the crown" and "insults to religious sentiment ".
These events, although they have no demonstrable relationship with the effect of the process in the Spanish judicial system, allow us to glimpse the democratic failures of the Spanish State regarding fundamental freedoms and civil rights, to the extent that entities of international reputation in Human Rights such as Amnesty International, has drawn attention to Spain. In his annual report he denounces restrictions and violations of human rights, such as freedom of expression, political freedoms and the right to peaceful assembly of people who support Catalan independence [199].
Resuming the initial question, could the Catalan question have stimulated the conservative behavior of the Spanish judicial system? The answer is open from the causal point of view, pending new social investigations. However, perceived threats towards a principle (Unity of the Nation) that historically has obtained prevalence on others that constitutionally are at the same level (Right of Autonomy), has generated a distortion in the constitutional balance, caused qualified critics and worsening the confidence of society regarding judicial independence and erosion in the principles of the rule of law.
With regard to the limitation of civil rights and political freedoms, the decisions of the magistrates that carry the processes of Catalan politicians and social leaders suggest possible breaches of fundamental precepts of the Spanish and European legal framework. The strategies of political power and its influence on the judiciary have led to interpret the law to the limit. At least during the last months, the Spanish political system has become a radical version of the phrase "in front of the government of men, the rule of law" [200]; in which exaggerated positivist legalism has been used as an alibi for not dealing with problems of a political nature; causing complications in coexistence and eroding the democratic principles of the Spanish State.
This excessive and distorted use of the rule of law has distorted the essential function of politics as an arena of competition between political proposals that seek social agreements that guarantee coexistence. To the same extent, it has been described that judicial decisions against freedom of expression, although not directly related to the effects of the procés on the behavior of the judicial system, denote the deficit of the democratic quality of Spain in terms of fundamental rights.
Section III: Conclusions and proposals
The report has analyzed with critical perspective the relationships and relevant circumstances in the last years of the conflict, in addition to its main actors. Since the ruling of the TC in 2010 we have described the events that have shaped the current scenario of political and social tension, the result of poor institutional performance and the excess of normative positivism, which has generated an inability to respond to the demands of Catalan society . The main conclusion is that the Spanish political system has to treat this crisis for what it is: a constitutional crisis.
The Constitutions are political pacts that ideally are of consensus. When the majority of the population does not feel identified with the Constitution, it must be replaced as quickly as possible through democratic processes. In the case of the Spanish Constitution, the rigidity of the procedures makes its modification difficult, which requires an agreement between all the parties, or if a blocking minority appears, to seek alternative mechanisms for the application of the parameters of the international law of human rights. Recall that the Spanish Constitution, despite not having explicitly incorporated the free determination of peoples in the article s, signed the International Treaty of the UN that recognizes it as a higher rule of law, and is binding according to article 10.2 EC "Title I. Of the fundamental rights and duties. article 10. [...] 2. The rules regarding fundamental rights and freedoms that the Constitution recognizes to be interpreted in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international treaties and agreements on the same matters ratified by Spain."
1. Balance of democratic quality

Democracy constitutes a system of norms that is the product of previous consensus, which enables the vote of all citizens and allows decisions to be made freely (Bobbio, 2003). Free access to information and respect for economic, social and cultural rights, of all equally, is vital. And the importance of good governance and the responsiveness and accountability of the elected representatives lies in the fact that it strengthens public confidence in the institutions, generating positive attitudes such as satisfaction with the performance of democracy.
On June 28, 2010, the TC decided to modify and reinterpret the EAC, a text on which three parliamentary chambers had worked (Parliament of Catalonia, Congress and Senate) and approved by the citizens of Catalonia in the June 18 referendum. 2006. With this decision, the TC opened a political conflict that eroded the legitimacy of the institutional architecture in force in Catalonia: an indirectly elected body imposed its criteria on the chambers representative of the popular will and direct democracy.
The disaffection on the part of the Catalan population regarding the functioning of the institutions that make up the rule of law and undermining the legitimacy of political institutions initiated a political process that has culminated in the blockade of legislative and executive activity and the arrest of social and political leaders.
This situation has diminished the democratic quality and the institutional mechanisms of conflict resolution and consensus search of the Spanish political system. In a brief balance it has been possible to identify the following deficiencies:
1. Difficulty of state institutions to activate effective conflict resolution mechanisms because their main leaders are trapped by the electoral sociology. From Catalonia, the institutions have demanded dialogue and negotiations to redirect the conflict. From the Kingdom of Spain dialogue was offered limited to the current constitutional framework. The distance between the written constitution and the Catalan public opinion has widened more and more, until reaching the current point.
2. Breach of TC resolutions in the preparation of unilateral referendums (9N and 1O).
3. Lack of respect for the rights of the parliamentary groups and limitation of their participation in the legislative activity.
4. Appeals by parliamentary groups to external powers (the CC) so that they violate the inviolability of the Parliament.
5. Excessive and discretionary activation of the mechanisms of federal coercion and autonomic intervention provided for in the constitutional regulations.
6. Excessive use of the judicial system to solve problems of a political nature.
7. Repression of the police and security forces of the State against the civilian population in a peaceful attitude, specifically the 1-O.
8. Irregular and disproportionate coverage of the media regarding what is happening in Catalonia.
9. Deficiencies in the regulation of the vote: difficulties in the overseas vote and lack of an electoral law of Catalonia.
10. Social crisis and risk of political polarization. Escraches and attacks on the seats of political parties, which have been socially normalized from the same Parlament.
The situation can be aggravated if the actors maintain the same dynamic that they have developed in recent years.

10. The Observatory’s proposals for the improvement of democratic quality in Catalonia

One of the great challenges that Catalonia has is to achieve a minimum consensus among the political actors that enables a governance agreement, seeking to avoid polarization, improve governance and democratic quality and peaceful coexistence.
From the Observatory we propose that the political and institutional actors approach the conflict from the preferences expressed by the citizenry, from the pluralism and with full respect to the active exercise of the fundamental rights and the public liberties. The basis of modern democracies is dialogue, so public deliberations and the search for consensus are the democratic tools to deal with them. Only when the conflict remains persistent to the dialogue, the differences must be resolved through parliamentary vote or referendum and must never use violence, fear, coercion and lies.
The concrete proposals are:
1. Respect the inviolability of the Parliament and stop the violations of civic and political rights.
2. Release the imprisoned members of the Government and social leaders, to reduce conflict and guarantee the conditions of freedom, and stop the actions of the Prosecutor's Office against social and political activities.
3. Cesar with the intervention to the Autonomous Government and its administration and return its control to the Parliament of Catalonia, organ chosen democratically by the citizens of Catalonia.
4. Respect scrupulously the rights of parliamentarians, especially those of minority groups and ensure that they can participate freely in all legislative production.
5. Accept an international mediation that guarantees the equality of the parties. Surveys show that most Catalans want to resolve this crisis from politics and not through the courts. This mediation should reconstruct the relations and favour a reasonable negotiated solution, established by means of democratic participation.
6. Open a constituent process that appeals to all social sectors from the recognition that all options (autonomy, federalism, Republic of Catalonia, among others) are legitimate. The process should determine the reasons why a large part of Catalan society refuses to continue being an autonomy of the Kingdom of Spain, a federal articulation or to constitute an independent Republic to promote an inclusive solution where everyone feels comfortable. The process should have a deliberative participatory process and a parliamentary work based on consensus, as well as negotiation with the Spanish Government and the Cortes Generales. The new constitution should also update social and democratic rights.
7. Resume the legislative and executive activity in Catalonia to advance in the consolidation of social welfare policies and educational policies.
8. Encourage a political culture of respect that condemns escraches and attacks on the seats of political parties. Political parties should systematically condemn all attacks and avoid the strategic use of victimhood by reacting only when they receive the attacks.
9. Approve or, as the case may be, promote the necessary legislative and administrative changes to improve electoral processes: Electoral Law of Catalonia, vote of the residents abroad, facilitate observation of the process. 10. Open a public debate with the main operators in social communication, their professionals, political parties, professional associations and other interested agents on the role of the press in democratic societies.
11. Conclusions

The demands for self-determination were born out of the perception of the Catalan citizenship that their voice was not taken into account with enough consideration in the collective decision making in Spain and that today Catalonia lacks institutional mechanisms that guarantee sufficient self-government in areas such as taxation, immigration and social policies. This subjective perception, which may or may not be based on objective facts, means that a good number of Catalans have a feeling of exclusion and political disaffection.
The reaction of the Spanish democratic system to the procés has served as a stress test, making visible gaps in the guarantee of fundamental rights. One possible explanation is that the State has prioritized reducing the risks for the national unit. Additionally, the application of the 155 and the blocking of Parlament decisions through the TC lead to serious considerations about the democratic quality of its political and institutional system.
In the Catalan political system there are also practices of low democratic quality, such as the deterioration of the rights of minority groups in parliamentary work or those painted at party headquarters. And there is a risk of polarization since the majority of the population is dissatisfied with the level of autonomy but the distribution of preferences indicates that there are no overwhelming majorities on the political status that Catalonia should have. If this risk is not treated correctly, the state of polarization would leave a very narrow space for dialogue.
Treating the problem with high standards of democratic quality requires practicing political dialogue with an inclusive vision, which allows us to overcome positivist legalism based on a technocratic vision of the application of public law. Democracy is based on public trust in institutions, from which derives its legitimacy, so it is necessary to respond to the demands of citizens, who are plural, through constructive ways of doing politics.
Overcoming the complications for coexistence and the current deterioration of democratic principles in the Spanish State and in Catalonia requires opening political and social dialogue processes that reduce the distance between the 1978 Constitution and Catalan public opinion, giving equal value to all options (status quo, federal State or independent Republic) and take the decision based on citizen preferences and political commitment, seeking to integrate comfortably the population as a whole in the resulting political system, in any of its three possible solutions.
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[1] Approved in the Congress of Deputies with 189 AYE votes from PSOE, CiU, ICV, Izquierda Unida, the Partido Nacionalista Vasco, Coalición Canaria and the Bloque Nacionalista Galego; and 154 Noes, from Partido Popular, Esquerra Republicana de Cataluña and Eusko Alkartasuna . Nafarroa Bai and Chunta Aragonesista abstained: https://bit.ly/2jWVkLV
[2] Specifically article s 167 and 168 of the Constitution.
[3] Data from the El Mundo newspaper. Available (on line): https://bit.ly/2KlWFXw [Accessed on 08/02/2018; 11:50]
[4] Ciu arrasa y entierra el tripartito. El Mundo. (28/11/2010).
[5] CiU won 62 MPs, [6] short of the absolute majority. It eventually agreed with the PP on the forming of a government.
[6] In 2010, Parliament was composed as follows, in the number of seats: CiU 62 (38.43%), PSC 28 (18.38%), PP 18 (12.37%), ICV-EUiA 10 (7.37%), ERC 10 (7%), C's 3 (3.39%): https://bit.ly/2KlrBqX [Accessed on 08/02/2018: 10:32]
[7] According to the June 2012 barometer of the Opinion Studies Centre (CEO), with a sample of 2,500 Catalans, 68% stated that Catalonia's autonomy level was insufficient and 34% wanted Catalonia to be an independent State. Executive summary of the study: https://bit.ly/2Kjw1yG [Accessed on 20/03/2018; 11:11]
[8] In 2012, Parliament consisted of the following number of seats: CiU 50 (30.07%), ERC 21 (13.70%) PSC 20 (14.43%), PP 19 (12.97%), ICV-EUiA 13 (9.89%), C's 9 (7.56%), CUP-Alternativa d'Esquerres 3 (3.47%). Official Generalitat de Catalunya data: https://bit.ly/2IDJMLd [Accessed on 08/02/2018; 10:38]
[9] Approved with 85 Ayes (CiU, ERC, ICV-EUiA y la CUP), 41 Noes (PSC, PP y C's) and 2 abstentions (two CUP MPs)
[10] Resolution 742 / IX is dated September 27, 2012 but was approved in January after the elections. https://bit.ly/2rGrbDT [Accessed on 08/02/2018; 10:50]
[11] Except for constitutional or statutory referendums. article s 151, 152, 167 and 168 of the Spanish Constitution.
[12] Actually, a referendum camouflaged as a participatory process.
[13] Noguera, A. (05/09/2017) Sobre las garantías del referéndum catalán y Muñoz, J (04/12/2014) Entrevista a diario El CRITIC: https://bit.ly/1yvkDWC [Accessed on 08/02/2018; 12:37]
[14] Official data: https://bit.ly/1wI9K1C [Accessed on 30/01/2018; 15:00]
[15] Mas, inhabilitado por desobedecer el 9-N (13/03/2017) Diario El País: https://bit.ly/2ImBRyR [Accessed on 08/02/2018; 13:19]
[16] See Pacheco, Jordi (11/02/2013) La Llei de Consultes: el fil d'Ariadna per sortir del laberint (I). https://bit.ly/2ImvBqv [Accessed on 20/03/2018; 11:24]
[17] Breakdown of the Parlament in seats (2015): JxS 32 (36.09%), C's 17 (18.84%) PSC 12 (13.67%), Cat Sí que es Pot 9 (10,13%), PP 8 (8.85%), CUP 7 (8.28%). Official data: https://bit.ly/2IkEWiS [Accessed on 22/02/2018; 11:41]
[18] See the Millet case (Palau [de la Música Catalana])
[19] “El referéndum será el 1 de octubre y preguntará sobre un Estado independiente en forma de República”, La Vanguardia, https://goo.gl/jau1WK (Last access 6 February 2018).
[20] “Puigdemont anuncia la fecha y la pregunta del referéndum”, La Vanguardia, https://goo.gl/YmPxML (Last access 6 February 2018).
[21] “La ley de desconexión catalana, en 19 preguntas y respuestas”, La Vanguardia, https://goo.gl/bTGci4 (Last access 6 February 2018).
[22] Dawn fom “Referéndum i desconnexió en dues lleis separades”, Diari ARA, https://goo.gl/TJka67 (Last access 6 February 2018).
[23] Ley de Presidencia de la Generalitat y del Govern, Art. 38.1 Decretos Ley: https://bit.ly/2IEBrad
[24] “¿Cuáles son las vías para aprobar las leyes de desconexión?, ElNacional.Cat, https://bit.ly/2jTofAc, (Last access 8 February 2018).
[25] Reglament del Parlament, article 81.3: L'ordre del dia: https://bit.ly/2IhHd2p
[26] JxSí with 62 seats, 39.54% of the vote; plus CUP with 10 seatss and 8.21% of the vote. Holding 72 of the 135 seats. Drawn from “Autonómicas Catalunya”, ElDiario.es, https://goo.gl/DYpE15 (Last access 8 February 2018).
[27] “Tirón de orejas del Consell de Garanties a la tramitación exprés de la ley del Referéndum”, La Vanguardia, https://goo.gl/GnDmye (Last access 8 February 2018).
[28] Opinion of the Council of Statutory Guarantees of Catalonia on the Members’ Bill on the self-determination referendum, 6 September 2017: https://bit.ly/2rGGixj
[29] “Tirón de orejas del Consell de Garanties a la tramitación exprés de la ley del Referéndum”, La Vanguardia, https://goo.gl/GnDmye (Last access 8 February 2018).
[30] El EAC 2006, en su article 76.4 referido a las funciones del CGE: Els dictàmens del consell de Garanties Estatutàries tenen caràcter vinculant amb relació als projectes de llei i les proposicions de llei del Parlament que desenvolupin o afectin drets reconeguts per aquest Estatut. d icho apartado fue declarado inconstitucional por la sentencia 31/2010 del TC de fecha 28 de junio. Información: https://bit.ly/2If0v8w EAC 2006: https://bit.ly/2rHWX3i
[31] article 1. Proposició de llei del referèndum d'autodeterminació. Butlletí Oficial del Parlament de Catalunya, 6 September 2017: https://bit.ly/2fCbk3z
[32] article 17.2.
[33] Extraída de, “El Parlament aprueba la ley para convocar el referéndum ante los escaños vacíos de la oposición”, ElDiario.es, https://bit.ly/2IgBQfK (Last access 13 February 2018).
[34] Proposición de Ley de Transitoriedad Jurídica y Fundacional de la República, 28 August 2017, Accessible here: https://goo.gl/JzfZU6
[35] “Los puntos fundamentales de la Ley de Transitoriedad”, ElNacional.Cat, autora: Marta Lasalas, https://goo.gl/cZbK2U (Last access 13 February 2018).
[36] article 1. Estat Català, Proposició de llei de Transitorietat Jurídica i Fundacional de la República, 28 August 2017: https://goo.gl/JzfZU6
[37] article 34. Posició Institucional.
[38] “Los puntos fundamentales de la Ley de Transitoriedad”, ElNacional.Cat, Marta Lasalas, https://goo.gl/cZbK2U (Last access 13 February 2018).
[39] bídem .
[40] Títol VI. Finances.
[41] Dawn from “El Parlament consuma el desafío y aprueba la Ley de Transitoriedad”, La Vanguardia, https://bit.ly/2wMKv4r (Last access 13 February 2018).
[42] article 17.2. De l'administració electoral. Proposició´ de llei del referèndum d'autodeterminació. Butlletí Oficial del Parlament de Catalunya, 6 September 2017. Available at: https://bit.ly/2IfaI4Q
[43] Jordi Matas Dalmases is full professor of Politica l Science at the University of Barcelona and chairs the Governing Council of the Centre d’Estudios d’Opinió (CEO).
[44] Not until November did the Constitutional Court officially withdraw these fines.
[45] (22/09/2017) “El Govern demana a la Sindicatura Electoral de l'1-O que es dissolgui ” Ara.Cat: https://bit.ly/2KmjfQ0
[46] “El desafío independentista catalán, paso a paso: cronología de un septiembre frenético”, Cadena Ser, http://bit.ly/2Ft51u3 (Last access 30 de enero de 2018).
[47] Ibid.
[48] “Así se desglosan los 87 millones de euros de la Operación Copérnico”, La Vanguardia, http://bit.ly/2E201iS (Last access 30 de enero de 2018).
[49] “Operación Copérnico: Interior prolonga hasta el 18 de octubre el despliegue policial”, El País, http://bit.ly/2giOv5Q (Last access 30 de enero de 2018).
[50] Communiqué of the SÍndic de Greuges de Catalunya, de 26 de septiembre de 2017. Accessible here: https://bit.ly/2jVJlOI
[51] “El Govern acredita para votar a 5,3 millones de personas en 2.315 centros en Cataluña”, Cadena Ser, http://bit.ly/2np7NsY (Last access 30 de enero de 2018).
[52] “Siete puntos clave para entender qué ha pasado en la mañana del 1-O”, La Vanguardia, https://goo.gl/xmG8bE (Last access 1 February 2018).
[53] Informe sobre els incidents dels dies 1 al 4 d'octubre de 2017: Pacients atesos durant la jornada electoral i dies posteriors a conseqüència de les càrregues dels cossos policials de l'Estat. Servei Català de la Salut, Generalitat de Catalunya: https://goo.gl/UVggQG
[56] “España: La policía utilizó la fuerza de manera excesiva en Cataluña”, Human Rights Watch, https://goo.gl/fccc1T (Last access 1 February 2018).
[57] Ley 29/2014 de 28 de noviembre de Régimen del Personal de la Guardia Civil, Art. 7: Reglas de comportamiento del Guardia Civil. Accessible here: https://bit.ly/2IB9YWT
[58] Ley Orgánica 2/1986, de 13 de marzo, de Fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad. Capítulo II, Principios Básicos de actuación. Art. 5: https://bit.ly/2GdkCOw
[59] Report on la Violación de Derechos Civiles y Políticos: Cataluña. Septiembre y octubre 2017
. Jordi Palou-Loverdos:

[60] “España: La policía utilizó la fuerza de manera excesiva en Cataluña”, Human Rights Watch, https://goo.gl/fccc1T (Last access 1 February 2018).
[61] According to a study by the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas, the Catalans regard the lack of dialogue between the parties (State-Generalitat) as the third most important problem in Catalonia: https://bit.ly/2IiYtnW [Accessed on 20/03/2018; 11:37]
[62]Lista de iniciativas a favour del diálogo para resolver el conflicto en Cataluña ” (04/10/2017) Diario La marea: https://bit.ly/2IgLE9y [Accessed on 06/02/2018; 13:00]
[63] https://bit.ly/2wGDfe0 [Accessed on 06/02/18; 13:36]
[64] https://aristofanicas.com/ [Accessed on 06/02/2018; 13:25]
[65] https://bit.ly/2dOy0z4 [Accessed on 06/02/18; 13:26]
[67] https://bit.ly/2xZxjMl [Accessed on 13/02/2018; 10:16]
[68] Town councils ere summoned for October 7, dressed in white garments "in sign of peace." See https://bit.ly/2L09d8r [Accessed on 13/02/2018; 11:43]
[69] Regulatory positions on whether or not this form of dialogue and conciliation is correct are up to the judgment of each reader.
[70] “Posicionamiento del Colegio de Politólogos y Sociólogos de Cataluña a favour de una mediación internacional” (2017): https://bit.ly/2rKJcBc
[71] Llamado al dialogo ya la moderación (08/10/2017) The Elders: https://bit.ly/2IcKvUd [Accessed on 27/02/2018; 11:07]
[72] Whiter now democracy in Spain? (09/10/2017) Carta abierta: https://bit.ly/2KmunMO [Accessed on 27/02/2018]
[73] Ver https://bit.ly/2xLwTtk [Accessed on 13/02/2018; 10:52]
[74] Ver https://bit.ly/2GcVUhg [Accessed on 13/02/2018; 10:54]
[75] Ver https://bit.ly/2jSOSp8 [Accessed on 13/02/2018; 11:01]
[76] Full speech: https://bit.ly/2gu88bh [Accessed on 13/02/2018; 11:08]
[77] https://bit.ly/2wzBkIa [Accessed on 13/02/2018; 11:47]
[78] El mundo. https://bit.ly/2zuFXRA [Accessed on 15/02/2018; 12:14]
[79] Índice bursátil español
[80] From October to December 2017, about 3000 companies moved their registered office outside of Catalonia. “Las grandes empresas que se han ido de Cataluña” (13/12/2017) El País: https://bit.ly/2rFKyh4 [Accessed on 15/02/2018; 12:43]
[81] Revisar caso SEAT Martorell. Ver https://bit.ly/2GcPq1X [Accessed on 22/02/2018; 11:08]
[82] Ver https://bit.ly/2jTxvV3 [Accessed on 15/02/2018; 13:02]
[83] https://bit.ly/2fWJgLZ [Accessed on 15/02/2018; 13:00]
[84] In the report of S & P (12/10/2017), the consequences in economic matters that the unilateral independence of Catalonia could produce are explained in more detail:: https://bit.ly/2IgvoJJ [Accessed on 15/02/2018;13:19]
[85] Algunos resultados del estudio de Pimec están Availables en el portal Vilaweb: https://bit.ly/2gEezfa [Consultados el 01/03/2018; 11:39]
[86] ¿Qué es una sede social y por qué genera tanto ruido un cambio? (16/10/2017) La vanguardia: https://bit.ly/2gmr4Zn [Accessed on 15/02/2018; 12:46]
[87] https://bit.ly/2GeqfMh [Accessed on 20/02/2018; 10:17]
[88]Masiva manifestación en Barcelona a favour de la Constitución y la unidad de España ” El País. Available at: https://bit.ly/2xrBtZi [Accessed on 20/02/2018; 10:34]
[89] It was scheduled for October 9, but the Constitutional Court suspended the appearance at the request of the PSC. See https://bit.ly/2Ik7rNw [Accessed on 20/02/2018; 10:40]
[90] “La declaración de independencia que duró menos de un minuto”, El País, https://bit.ly/2jTslIA (Last access 15 February 2018).
[91] President Carles Puigdemont’s complete speech (10/10/2017): https://bit.ly/2IiCYiN [Accessed on 20/02/2018; [11:10]
[92] El documento fue firmado por los grupos parlamentarios JxS y la CUP. El documento completo: https://bit.ly/2GdAy37 [Accessed on 20/02/2018; 12:05]
[93] El País. https://bit.ly/2wLFef5 [Accessed on 15/02/2018]
[94]Rajoy da ocho días a Puigdemont para que vuelva “a la legalidad”” (11/10/2017). El Periódico: https://bit.ly/2IdZmOy [Accessed on 20/02/2018; 12:57]
[95] https://bit.ly/2ICXPRn [Accessed on 20/02/2018; 13:05]
[96]Rajoy da ocho días a Puigdemont para que vuelva “a la legalidad”” (11/10/2017) El Periódico: https://bit.ly/2IdZmOy [Accessed on 20/02/2018; 13:09]
[97] Carta de Carles Puigdemont a Mariano Rajoy (16/10/2018)- El País: https://bit.ly/2Ihli7i [Accessed on 27/02/2018; 11:21]
[98] Grounded in the call to the demonstrations of 20 and 21 September (2017). Trapero was released with precautionary measures. See https://bit.ly/2gosZzH [Accessed on 27/02/2018; 12:13]
[99] Carta de Mariano Rajoy a Carles Puigdemont (16/10/2018) Available at El Periódico: https://bit.ly/2rMI00b [Accessed on 27/02/2018; 12:38]
[100] Second Letter from Carles Puigdemont to Mariano Rajoy (10/19/2018). Available on the El Periódico website: https://bit.ly/2IeI8AB [Accessed on 27/02/2018; 12:53]
[101] Acuerdo del Consejo de Ministros (Completo). El País: https://bit.ly/2xcOR4k
[102] The Commission had 27 members: 15 PP, 6 PSOE, 2 Unidos Podemos, 1 PNV, 1 ERC, 1 PDeCat y 1 UPN.
[103] Letter from Carles Puigdemont to the Senate (26/10/2017). Available at ElDiario.es: https://bit.ly/2IG9ZZE [Accessed on 01/03/2018; 14:02]
[104] A measue proposed by the CUP MP, Anna Gabriel.
[105] Summary of the effects of the declaration of independence, taken from the article “Proclamada la República Catalana” (27/10/2017), Vilaweb: https://bit.ly/2jVNpOY [Accessed on 01/03/2018; 14:50]
[107] “Art 155: así se aplicaría el último recurso del Gobierno contra el 1-O”, La Vanguardia, https://bit.ly/2wHYYm0, (Last access 15 February 2018).
[108] Article 155.1, Constitución Española: https://bit.ly/1Rm6IMb
[109] Application filed by the Agreement adopted by the Council of Ministers of the Government of Spain towards the Senate, on October 21, 2017: https://bit.ly/2rIW6PM
As laid down in article 189.1 of the Senate rules of prcedure: «If the Government, in the cases contemplated in article 155.1 of the Constitution, requires the approval of the Senate to adopt the measures to which it refers, it must submit a text to the Speaker of the Chamber that reflects the content and scope of the proposed measures, as well as the justification of having made the corresponding request to the President of the Autonomous Community and of its non-compliance by it: https://bit.ly/2IhMpDr
[110] Resolución del 27 de octubre de 2017 del Senado del Reino de España: https://bit.ly/2IEKckB
[111] Proposta de Resolució sobre la Declaració dels representants de Catalunya sobre l'Independència. Presentada el 27 d'octubre de 2017: https://bit.ly/2jSCVzE
[112] Joint Communiqué by Col.lectiu Praga, l'Associació Drets, Servidors Públics de Catalunya and Societat Catalana d'Estudis Jurídics on the complaint about the unconstitutional use of article 155: https://bit.ly/2IiSuuW
[113] “El Supremo mantiene en prisión a Junqueras, Forn y los Jordis”, 20Minutos.es, https://bit.ly/2IesRj5 (Last access 5 March 2018).
[114] Auto 20907/2017, Sala de lo Penal del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, de 04/12/2017: https://bit.ly/2rFwmVo
[115] The political groups of the Parliament of Catalonia were unable to pass an election law, pending since 1980. This vacuum led the functions of the Electoral Board of Catalonia being assumed by Spain’s Central Electoral Board.
[116] Democracy Volunteers, Catalonia Regional Elections - 21 December 2017. Interim Report on Election Research. Dr. John Ault. 22nd December 2017. Available at: https://bit.ly/2Cn1T2A
[117] "Observadores Internacionales acusan de falta de neutralidad a la prensa de Madrid ante el 21-D", ElNacional.Cat, https://bit.ly/2Gc2c0l (Last access 13 March 2018).
[118] Report by Democracy Volunteers. Reflected in Graph 1, presented as Table 1, taken fom the same document: https://bit.ly/2Cn1T2A
[119] Ibid., Graph 2
[120] Ibid., Graph 3
[121] Table 1, taken from: Democracy Volunteers, Catalonia Regional Elections - 21st December 2017. Interim Report on Election Research. Dr. John Ault. 22nd December 2017, página 9: https://bit.ly/2Cn1T2A
[122] Ibid., Table 3. Page 11.
[123] Ibid., Table 2. Page 10.
[124] The results of the 21D elections were extracted from “Resultados elecciones 2017 en Cataluña”, La Vanguardia, https://bit.ly/2Ik0hJ9 (Last access 6 March 2018).
[125] «La Junta Electoral Central rechaza a observadores internacionales en las elecciones catalanas», Europa Press, https://bit.ly/2rEksLw (Last access 13 March 2018).
[126] Informe de la Misión de Observación Electoral Limitada de las Elecciones al Parlamento de Cataluña de 21 de diciembre de 2017. Available at:
[127] Ibid.
[129] «L'ofensiva de l'Estat no atura el creixement de l'independentisme», El Nacional.Cat, https://bit.ly/2rI59Ay, (Last access 6 March 2018).
[130] «Resultados elecciones 2017 en Cataluña», La Vanguardia, https://bit.ly/2Ik0hJ9 (Last access 6 March 2018).
[131] Informe sobre el vot exterior: Defectes i millores en el procés electoral del 21 de desembre del 2017, Catalans al Mon: https://bit.ly/2rFlWFb
[132] Informe sobre el vot exterior: Defectes i millores en el procés electoral del 21 de desembre del 2017, pàgina 3, punto B, Catalans al Mon: https://bit.ly/2rFlWFb
[133] «El independentismo suma un 54, 15% del voto exterior», La Vanguardia, https://bit.ly/2rFyBrM (Last access 6 March 2018).
[134] “El 21-D dejó 2,08 millones de votos independentistas y una participación del 79 %”, ElNacional.Cat, https://bit.ly/2D1csc7 (Last access 6 March 2018).
[135] "Resultados elecciones 2017 en Cataluña”, La Vanguardia, https://bit.ly/2Ik0hJ9 (Last access 6 March 2018).
[136] Information on the official Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación website (Government of Spain: https://bit.ly/2rFINAL [Accessed on 06/03/2018; 10:28]
[137] In addition, Decree 71/2014, of May 27, established in Catalonia the Register of Catalan residents abroad, which, according to Law 8/2017, of June 15, allows the Government of Catalonia to identify citizens who enjoy the political condition of Catalans and reside abroad, in accordance with the EAC, facilitating the exercise of their rights and favouring the application of the powers of the Generalitat: https://bit.ly/2n1Lfhq [Accessed on 06/03/2018; 11:06]
[138] More statistical information on migration flows: http://www.ine.es
[139] https://bit.ly/2IdCuyu [Consultada el 13/03/2018; 11:18]
[140]La reforma del voto exterior y el por qué del voto rogado” (16/12/2015) Publicado en Eldiario.es: https://bit.ly/2IfgfbA [Accessed on 13/03/2018]
[141] 2008 Central Electoral Board report: https://bit.ly/2jTgRVD [Accessed on 13/03/2018:11:00]
[142] La ley fue aprobada con el apoyo del PP, PSOE, CiU y el PNV.
[143] The NGO Marea Granate has published several complaints in its report “La "democracia del voto emigrante: una historia de reformas electorales, ingeniería política y recorte de derechos” (2015).
[144] Muñoz, J. (05/07/2017) “La segona ciutat de Catalunya és l'Hospitalet de Llobregat” . In Ara.cat.: https://bit.ly/2wEtDRc [Accessed on 13/03/2018: 12:37]
[145] Graph taken from Informe sobre el vot exterior: efectes i millores en el procés electoral del 21 de desembre del 2017” (2017). Drawn up by “Catalans al mon”: https://bit.ly/2rFlWFb [Accessed on 13/03/2018]
[146] The distribution of the overseas vote for this election has already been mentioned: The pro-independence vote (JxCat, ERC and the CUP) totalled 14,647 (53.90%) and the "Unionist" vote (PP, PSOE and C's) totalled 12,088 (44.49%).
[147] https://bit.ly/2IBDgEW [Accessed on 13/03/2018; 15:16]
[148] Doctoral thesis, Los medios de comunicación como legitimadores o deslegitimadores de un proyecto político por medio de los frames y las estructuras narrativas. El caso del Proceso catalán en el periodo 2006-2015. Ricard Gili Ferré (2017) Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona: https://bit.ly/2rFNt8U
[149] “Els diaris de Madrid i Barcelona exposen relats incompatibles sobre el procés català”, Racó Català, https://bit.ly/2Ij7VU3 (Last access 23 March 2018)
[150] Doctoral thesis, Ricard Gili Ferré (2017), ya citada.
[151] Ibid.
[152] Ibid.
[153] We recommend the following article : “El Mentidero: Catalanofobia; la construcción de un relato”, CTXT, https://bit.ly/2HaSr4g
[154] Informe sobre el tratamiento informativo de la jornada del 1'O, Consell de l'Audiovisual de Catalunya, 11 de octubre de 2017. Reporte 38/2017. https://www.cac.cat/sites/default/files/2017-10/Ac.97-2017%20Tractament%201-O%20COMBINAT.pdf 
[155] Informe sobre el tratamiento informativo de la jornada del 1'O, Consell de l'Audiovisual de Catalunya, 11 de octubre de 2017. Report No. 38/2017, pág. 4. Table 1. https://www.cac.cat/sites/default/files/2017-10/Ac.97-2017%20Tractament%201-O%20COMBINAT.pdf 
[156] “Los activistas contrarios a la independencia han protagonizado 139 incidentes violentos en Catalunya”, “En nom d'Espanya”, Mèdia.Cat, https://bit.ly/2rEMVkb (Last access 23 March 2018). In the articlke there is an infogaph to identify the violent incidents referred to.
[157] Report on the news coverage of October 1, Consell de l'Audiovisual de Catalunya, 11 de octubre de 2017. Report 38/2017, p. 13. Table 11. https://www.cac.cat/sites/default/files/2017-10/Ac.97-2017%20Tractament%201-O%20COMBINAT.pdf
[158] Ibid., Table 12
[159] “Reporters Sense Fronteres denuncia una “atmosfera irrespirable per a la llibertat d'informació a Catalunya”, https://bit.ly/2jWBC2Q (Last access 23 March 2018)
[160] Informe anual de Reporteros Sin Fronteras sobre la situación de libertad de información en España: https://bit.ly/2IdWGQR
[161] https://bit.ly/1Mzgsgz [Accessed on 26/03/2018; 14:30]
[162] According to the Centre d'Estudis d'Opinió baromete, in 2011 the preference for Catalonia to be an independent State was 28%; by the end of 2017 it was 40%.
[163] “Masiva manifestación en Barcelona por la unidad de España”, La Vanguardia, https://bit.ly/2xrjna5 (Last access 2 de mayo de 2018)
[164] Its chief promoters are Carla Arrufat, of the "Plataforma per l'Autonomía de Barcelona" and the playwright Albert Boatella, one of the founders of Ciudadanos.
[165] "¿Qué es Tabarnia, la ocurrencia que critica el independentismo catalán con otro movimiento independentista?" (26/12/2017). ElDiario.es: https://bit.ly/2rEChdw [Accessed on 27/03/2018; 12:36]
[166] “Los mossos cargan para despejar la salida de los guardias civiles de la consellería de Economía” (21/09/2017). 20minutos.es: https://bit.ly/2rFmydX [Accessed on 27/03/2018; 11:11]
[167] “Arran pinta la sede del PP de Sabadell y acusa la formación de “fascistas”” (10/04/2017) ElNacional.cat: https://bit.ly/2IeIQ0C [Accessed on 27/03/2017; 11:04]
[169] Informe sobre els incidents dels dies 1 al 4 d'octubre de 2017: Pacients atesos durant la jornada electoral i dies posteriors a conseqüència de les càrregues dels cossos policials de l'Estat. Servei Català de la Salut, Generalitat de Catalunya: https://goo.gl/UVggQG
[170]Barcelona clama por la liberación de los “presos políticos” y reivindica la legitimidad de Puigdemont” (11/11/2017) ElDiario.es: https://bit.ly/2wBdw6Y [Accessed on 27/03/2018; 11:53]
[171]Llarena envía a la prisión a Turull, Rull, Romeva, Forcadell y Basa” (29/03/2018). ElNacional.Cat: https://bit.ly/2jVPhas [Consultado 27/03/2018; 11:50]
[172]Carles Puigdemont compareixerà davant la justícia alemanya després de ser detingut quan viatjava a Brussel·les ” (25/03/2018): https://bit.ly/2KZOpgZ [Accessed on 27/03/2018; 12:00]
[173]Manifestaciones y disturbios en las calles de Barcelona tras la detención de Puigdemont” (25/03/2018): https://bit.ly/2IEblEo [Accessed on 27/03/2018; 12:06]
[174]Carles Puigdemont compareixerà davant la justícia alemanya després de ser detingut quan viatjava a Brussel·les ” (25/03/2018): https://bit.ly/2KZOpgZ [Accessed on 27/03/2018; 12:00]
[175] Dos juzgados que a la vista de muchos expertos no deberían ser “competentes” en esta causa. Sobre este tema, “Juristas afirman que hay "presos políticos" en España y exigen su inmediata liberación” (21/11/2017). El Diario.es: https://bit.ly/2L1RtJM [Accessed on 23/03/2018; 13:25].
[176] We also study the charges laid against the leaders of the sovereignty process, in section "Judicialization of politics" of this report.
[177] Complete text of the court resolution detaining Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sánchez: https://bit.ly/2IBDVWW
[178] Fragment of the court resolution, recovered from El Supremo aleja la posibilidad de que Junqueras, Forn y 'los Jordis' salgan de la cárcel antes del juicio por el 1-O” (02/02/2018) El Diario.es: https://bit.ly/2KZffpH [Accessed on 23/03/2018; 15:24]
[179] https://bit.ly/2rFJZEf [Accessed on 23/03/2018; 15:52]
[180] https://bit.ly/2FRNXmj [Accessed on 23/03/2018; 15:55]
[181] Recuperado de Javier Pérez Royo (08/11/2017) “No son presos políticos, pero lo parecen”. El Diario.es: https://bit.ly/2rB3jCv
[182] Recuperado de Joaquín Urias (03/02/2018) “La ideología de los presos catalanes”. El Diario.es: https://bit.ly/2Ge60OS
[183] Es una adecuación parcial de la hipótesis central de Epstein, Lee, Daniel E. Ho, Gary King y Jeffrey A. Segal. 2005. The Supreme Court during crisis: How war affects only non-war cases. New York University Law Review 80(1): 1-116, que estudia una amplia cantidad de decisiones judiciales de la Corte Suprema estadounidense (aproximadamente seis décadas) relativas a derechos civiles y libertades, para identificar el efecto de la crisis (relacionadas principalmente con las guerras) en la constricción de derechos y libertades. A pesar de las limitaciones de este objeto de estudio, parte del marco teórico y la segmentación de la naturaleza de las crisis presentadas, permiten exponer las bases analíticas de esta sección. https://bit.ly/2Igs8Oe
[184] ¿Qué es el delito de sedición? Así lo regula el Código Penal, El Periódico, https://bit.ly/2jSKMNw (Last access 20 March 2018).
[185] Ibid.
[186] “Entrevista a Montserrat Comas d'Argemir (JJpD), En Catalunya no ha existido la violencia que requiere el delito de rebelión”, ElDiario.es, https://bit.ly/2IGpdxK (Last access 20 March 2018).
[187] Art. 14, Constitución de España. Los españoles son iguales ante la ley, sin que pueda prevalecer discriminación alguna por razón de nacimiento, raza, sexo, religión, opinión o cualquier otra condición o circunstancia personal o social.
Art. 23.1 Los ciudadanos tienen el derecho a participar en los asuntos públicos, directamente o por medio de representantes, libremente elegidos en elecciones periódicas por sufragio universa l.
[188] Petición de la representación legal de Sánchez ante el auto de Llarena: https://bit.ly/2KkhJxD
[189] (25/03/2018) “Un comité de la ONU insta a España a garantizar los derechos políticos de Jordi Sànchez” El País: https://bit.ly/2GcKxWB
[190] “Prevaricación contra la democracia”, Javier Pérez Royo, ElDiario.es, https://bit.ly/2wI0OmU, (Last access 20 March 2018).
[191] “Prevaricación contra la democracia”, Javier Pérez Royo, ElDiario.es, https://bit.ly/2wI0OmU, (Last access 20 March 2018)
[192] “El PP reforma el Consejo General del Poder Judicial a su medida”, El País, https://bit.ly/2wEGQJt, (Last access 22 March 2018)
[193] “Gallardón coloca a España a la altura de Irán en independencia judicial”, Libertad Digital, https://bit.ly/1eJMf0h (Last access 22 March 2018)
[194] Ley Orgánica 15/2015, de 16 de octubre de [reforma de] la Ley Orgánica 2/1979, de 3 de octubre, del Tribunal Constitucional, para la ejecución de las resoluciones del Tribunal Constitucional como garantía del Estado de Derecho. BOE núm. 249 de 2015: https://bit.ly/1WQfcyE
[195] “Cinco claves de la reforma del Constitucional”, Diagonal Periódico, https://bit.ly/2L1n4LA (Last access 23 March 2018).
[196] “Comunicado sobre las injerencias políticas en el Poder judicial y en el Tribunal Constitucional”, 5 February 2018, Juezas y Jueces para la Democracia: https://bit.ly/2o6xL4R
[197]The Global Competitiveness Report, 2017-2018”, World Economic Forum: https://bit.ly/2jZK8Rg
[198] “Comunicado sobre las injerencias políticas en el Poder judicial y en el Tribunal Constitucional”, 5 February 2018, Juezas y Jueces para la Democracia: https://bit.ly/2o6xL4R
[199] Informe 2017/2018, Amnistía Internacional, “La situación de los derechos humanos en el mundo”: https://bit.ly/2JPByO4
[200] JIMENEZ DE PARGA, M., Los regímenes políticos contemporáneos. Tecnos. Madrid, 1974, p. 129.

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