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  • Spanish Minister of Justice Rafael Catala

    Spanish Minister of Justice Rafael Catala | Photo: AFP

Published 2 August 2015

Governor of Catalonia Artur Mas intends to present a unitary list at the next elections, on Nov. 9. in a snap vote.

The Spanish minister of justice warned the governor of autonomous Catalonia, Artur Mas, that his region could be subjected to the Article 155 of the Constitution if he continues his fight for independence.

Minister Rafael Catala said that he relied on the “common sense of Catalans and Catalonia institutions” not to allow “a situation of crisis and conflict.” For instance, if the governor declared unilateral independence, he would threaten to appeal to the Constitutional Court.

If the regional government still ignored the ruling of the court, it “could be considered the crimes of disobedience and perversion of justice.” Then the conservative government of Mariano Rajoy would resort to the article 155, which would enable it to “compel” the autonomous government to “fulfill its obligation.”

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In his opinion, this article is “in vigor and could be applied, although it has never been applied before,” as using this article consists in a “theoretical and exceptional setting.”

Catala does not believe the unitary list that Governor Mas aims to present at the next elections on Nov. 9 will be able to find a majority in favor of independence, he said referring to various surveys.

In January, Mas announced that the region will hold anticipated elections Sept. 27 in order to “bring the separatist project until the victory.” This independence movement grew prominent in 2012, and reached a climax last Nov. 9, when an informal popular consultation found that 2.3 million people would vote in favor of independence.

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