• Spain's news in English

Catalan leaders to defy Madrid and stage poll

AFP/The Local · 4 Nov 2014, 13:43

Published: 04 Nov 2014 13:43 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Barcelona-based administration will also launch a lawsuit against Spain's central government for "curbing freedom of expression" by seeking to stop the vote through the Constitutional Court, Catalan government spokesman Francesc Homs said.

His words came after Spain's Constitutional Court has voted unanimously on Wednesday to block Catalonia's public poll on independence from Spain, just a month after banning the region's original plans for a consultation.

The court of Spain has upheld a motion presented on Friday by the country's Popular Party government to prohibit an amended poll on Catalan independence due to be held on November 9th.

After the Constitutional Court formally suspended the initial referendum following a government appeal, Catalonia's regional president, Artur Mas, announced that his plans for an official consultation could not be carried out, but he said a less formal poll could still take place.

Volunteers had registered to oversee the ballot for which there was to be no official census, with each voter proving eligibility and their name being entered into a database to prevent multiple voting.

Voters were to be asked if they thought Catalonia should be a state and, if so, whether it should be independent.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s cabinet had asked the State Council consultative body if it thought there were grounds for a legal appeal against the new Catalan consultation. The answer came back that the vote was even less legitimate than the former plan as it lacked basic democratic "guarantees".

The court has upheld Rajoy's complaint and ruled that the poll can not legally take place but it has not responded to requests to include a clear warning to Mas of the consequences of defying the ban.

Twelve judges needed only a brief meeting on Wednesday morning to reach their conclusion.  The ruling backdates to October 31st and the judges have suspended the website through which the new poll was to be organized, according to Catalan daily El Periodico.

Story continues below…

Mas has said the plan for a symbolic referendum is legal and has called on Catalans to vote on November 9 and "give a great lesson in democracy and civility".

But according to a poll published last week in top-selling daily newspaper El País, 49 percent of Catalans are against the watered-down referendum and 44 percent in favour.

More to follow

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available