Spain warns Catalonia against empowering new regional tax agency


Under the terms of the new laws, the Catalan parliament will declare independence within 48 hours of a "yes" vote.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria swiftly announced that the government had asked the court to declare "void and without effect the agreements adopted" by the Catalan parliament to vote on the bill.

The plenary session in Barcelona saw tensions flare when the regional parliament's top speaker, Carme Forcadell, announced that the vote on the bill will go ahead without the customary vetting of a legal committee.

Pro-separatist lawmakers, who control the regional assembly, are expected to pass the referendum bill later on Wednesday with little debate, ignoring a ruling by the Constitutional Court that it would be unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Monday said the government objected the move and would do all it could to prevent the vote from taking place. "They [the supporters of Catalonia's independence] have demonstrated that they do not respect either Catalonia or the Catalans", Santamaria said.

"The circumstances under which one ceases to be head of the Catalan regional government are regulated by Catalonia's autonomy statute, so we should oppose a suspension of this type", Puigdemont said, according to The Local.

Image Zoom
Image Zoom

The pro-separatist government of Catalonia said it had set up its own tax agency, ready for action after the disputed referendum on independence from Madrid scheduled for October 1st.

The vote is also not recognized by most of the political opposition at the national level.

Home to 7.5 million, the prosperous Catalonia region centered on Barcelona generates a fifth of Spain's gross domestic product and enjoys ample self-government, running its own police and with considerable powers in health and education.

"Speaking economically, there is plenty of research which shows that Catalan federations could have up to €93m annually as an independent state", Gerard Estreva is quoted as saying by Marca. Three former officials, including the former Catalan President Artur Mas, were barred from holding public office as a result.

"We want a better Catalonia, with more resources and we feel Madrid limits us". The "yes" vote to breaking away from Spain won at the time amid a low turnout by voters.



Other news