Spain moves to block Catalonia independence

Spain’s Constitutional Court on Monday suspended an independence referendum called by Catalonia for November 9, although leaders of the rich northeastern region vowed to press ahead anyway with preparations for the vote.

The unanimous and expected decision by the court’s 12 judges came just hours after Spain’s central government asked it to declare the independence referendum illegal on the grounds that it breaches the country’s constitution.

The court said in a statement that it had accepted the appeal and had suspended the referendum while it considers the central government’s arguments. The court had up to five months to give its ruling although it can request an extension.

The head of the regional government of Catalonia, Artur Mas, signed a decree on Saturday calling for the referendum.

Since then a luminous clock on Barcelona’s historic Sant Jaume square has been ticking down the seconds to November 9 and television and radio stations in the region have aired ads informing the public of the vote.

Conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he “deeply” regretted Mas’s move, saying it “divides Catalans, alienates them from Europe and the rest of Spain and seriously harms their welfare”.

Buoyed by mass street demonstrations, Mas has pushed ahead for a vote in defiance of Rajoy’s warnings.

“You cannot use the law to prevent people indefinitely from stating their opinion,” Mas said in a television interview on Sunday in anticipation of Monday’s appeal.

“Voting on November is the best thing for everyone because it will allow us and also the Spanish government to know what the Catalan people’s opinion is.”

The main opposition Socialist Party is calling for a constitutional reform instead of a vote to answer Catalan demands for greater autonomy.

The Socialists’ leader Pedro Sanchez on Monday said the referendum plan “deeply damages Spanish democracy”.

Fitch Ratings has chimed in also by placing the Autonomous Community of Catalonia’s (Catalonia) and Institut Catala de Finances’ (ICF) Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of ‘BBB-‘ on Rating Watch Negative (RWN).

Their Short-term foreign currency IDRs of ‘F3’ have also been placed on RWN. Catalonia’s EMTN programme and bond issues, rated ‘BBB-‘, were also placed on RWN.

The last scheduled review date for Fitch’s ratings of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia was on 25 July 2014 and the next review date for 2015 has not yet been set.

  • Johann Theron

    Praat van bully – sies.

  • Guest

    Phoenix Capital Research: Spain’s Mariano Rajoy is back with yet another display of why he should never have been allowed to take office in the first place.

    For those who need a quick primer, here’s a quick highlight reel of Rajoy’s more notable accomplishments:

    1) Helped facilitate biggest housing bubble in Spanish history, a bubble so large that the US’s looks like a molehill in comparison

    2) Took bribes and kickbacks from developers in helping to create said bubble (more on this later).

    3) Claimed Spain would never need a bailout, then demanded a €100 billion bailout one weekend before flying off to watch a soccer match.

    4) Raided Spain’s social security fund, investing 90% of its assets in Spanish bonds… which were on the verge of default a mere six months before.

    5) Got caught with dirty money he received from property developers and stated the following, “…everything that has been said about me and my colleagues in the party is untrue, except for some things that have been published by some media outlets,”

    Now Rajoy is dealing with the problem of Catalonia (a region in Spain) wanting independence. Catalonians are proposing putting the matter to a vote, much as Scotland recently did regarding its own move to potentially break away from the UK.

    Rajoy, never one to miss the opportunity to embarrass himself, has called the decision to vote for independence “profoundly anti-democratic.”

    Bear in mind, this is the same “leader” who likes to proclaim that Spain is in a recovery… while Spain’s unemployment is roughly 24% and youth unemployment is above 50%.

    At some point, the markets will call BS on Spain’s dreams of recovery and the bond markets will rebel. When this happens the whole fraud will come unraveled. However it might take a full-scale political crisis before this happens. And by the look of things we’re not far from one.

    We’re back in trouble whenever Spain takes out the long-term trendline for its 10-year bond yields.

    This report outlines a number of strategies you can implement to prepare yourself and your loved ones from the coming market carnage.

  • Boerseun.Z.A.R

    Like England, which Spanish King would give away a province ?