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Catalan parliament calls for vote on republic

The Local/AFP · 26 Jun 2014, 13:46

Published: 26 Jun 2014 13:46 GMT+02:00

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The call for a consultative referendum came after Catalonia's green–left grouping ICV-EUiA put foward a motion demanding a vote on whether Spain should be remain a constitutional monarchy or become a republic. 

It also came on the day of King Felipe's first visit to the region since his recent enthronment, following the June 2nd decision of his father Juan Carlos to abdicate.      

The king, who speaks good Catalan, heads along with his ex-newsreader wife Queen Letizia to one of the region's most independence-minded towns, Girona, to preside at a royal prize-giving.

SEE ALSO: Spain's new king hasn't done anything to deserve Catalan respect

Given the hostility of the pro-independence movement to the national institutions, it is seen as a trial of fire for Felipe, and the vote of the Catalan parliament on Thursday will do little to ease tensions.

In passing the motion, Catalonia's parliament expressed its outrage at the "urgent manner" in which legislation allowing for the royal handover had been passed by the national parliament in Madrid.

Felipe's coronation perpetuated a pact "without democratic legitimacy" said ICV-EUiA leader Joan Herrera when presenting it.   

However, the motion was passed by a minority of the parliament with the region's governing Convergence and Union (CiU) coalition among those abstaining from the vote.

Story continues below…

Only the ICV-EUiA, the Republic Left of Catalonia (ERC) and the left-wing CUP party voted in favour for the motion. There were 33 votes in favour, 75 abstentions and 18 votes against.

The vote was a distraction from the real debate, which is the independence of Catalonia from the rest of Spain, a CiU spokesperson said, explaining his party's decision to abstain. 

The CiU are pushing for a November 9th vote on whether Catalonia should become independent, a move repeatedly labelled illegal by Madrid.

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