Members of the Catalan Parliament Jordi Orobitg and Gemma Espigares present conclusions before the committee of inquiry into the violation of civil and political rights under Article 155, and call for self-determination and economic reparation for the impact of the concomitant direct rule
The application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution intentionally impacted the Catalan institutions, society and economy harshly from every angle and completely undermined any chance of defending the rights and civil liberties and policies, by means of the centralization by Spain of Catalonia’s competences. However, neither the dismissal of the Catalan government, nor the role of the king, nor the attacks and intrusions on the rights of citizens, institutions and the economy, eroded the social majority in favour of the Catalan Republic. This was confirmed in the conclusions presented by Esquerra Republicana MPs Jordi Orobitg and Gemma Espigares at the 155 Inquiry.
After months of appearances by witnesses—including that of deposed and imprisoned government ministers and leaders in exile—Esquerra concludes that the principal perpetrator was the Conservative government headed by Mariano Rajoy, but also warns of the “necessary complicity” by the PSOE and the Ciudadanos parties to “strike a blow at democracy,” as well as utilising the Senate and the different powers of the State to prevent a political, negotiated solution for Catalonia.
Esquerra thus calls for the Parliament of Catalonia to declare that:
- There can be no solution to the political conflict in Catalonia that is not based on the explicit consent of the citizens of Catalonia. Legal coercion—lawfare—and the use of violence must be repudiated.
- The only possible guarantee for the recognition of territorial democracy in Spain is the explicit recognition and exercise of the right to self-determination.
- The speech by King Felipe on October 3rd defended the application of article 155 and of “Criminal Law of the Enemy” against the independence movement. In the midst of the scandal over the alleged corruption of Emeritus King Juan Carlos, Esquerra points to the role of Philip VI and considers abdication by Philip VI necessary “for democratic health”, including a thorough investigation into political interference and corruption, and a referendum on the Bourbon monarchy or republic in the rest of the state.
- It is essential that any new territorial agreement be accompanied by a profound reform of the judiciary.
- The recourse to article 155 was instrumental in launching a judicial persecution against the Catalan government, and is the tip of the iceberg in the general proceedings against hundreds of citizens. It can only be repaired by passing a law for amnesty.
- The application of Article 155 violated the democratic rights of all citizens: dismissing the Government and imposing an election; imprisoning a candidate for the Presidency and blocking the appointment of government ministers.
There are also conclusions concerning economy and security. In this regard, Esquerra proposes that the Department of the Interior is to “return to the model of public order prior to 155,” as outlined precisely in Parliament. After the democratic setback in rights such as the protest during 155, Esquerra requests the ministry reverses practices, tactics and elements that have also been put into practice in recent months and that “had been abolished.”
In the economic and financial sphere, the Esquerra MPs highlight the waging of a “dirty war,” and see in the royal decree law that allows the transfer of company headquarters between territories as an attempt to harm the Catalan economy. Esquerra believes that the intervention of the heads of important financial institutions such as CaixaBank and Banc Sabadell in this regard was particularly eloquent, supporting the measures taken by the Spanish government.
Esquerra therefore not only calls for the repeal of this decree law but for the Spanish government to recognize and repair the impact of 155 with an extraordinary fund of 1.8 billion euros for the main victims, the social entities and the most vulnerable population. Finally, Esquerra also calls for the Parliament to approve that the Spanish government should withdraw the financial intervention of the Catalan Generalitat Government—executed in 2015 under the pretext of the budget stability law—particularly takinginto account the context of current crisis.