CATALAN QUESTION

Mas throws down the gauntlet in pursuit of “national transition”

Catalan regional assembly to debate right-to-decide resolution

PP's de Cospedal rounds on Socialist leader's federalism hints

Catalonia premier Artur Mas set his ruling CiU nationalist coalition on a collision course with Madrid on Monday when he announced that a right-to-decide resolution will be submitted to the regional assembly with a view to having it approved on Thursday.

The center-right CiU will seek support for a resolution which concludes that attempts to “fit Spain and Catalonia together” are “a path without direction.” The text asks that “the people of Catalonia be allowed to freely and democratically decide their collective future.”

Although the document does not specifically mention independence, it does emphasize the need for Catalonia to bring about its “national transition.”

The regional assembly will begin to mull the resolution on Tuesday after Mas opens the General Policy debate. The parties that backed a pro-sovereignty march attended by hundreds of thousands of people on Catalonia Day — which account for 83 of the assembly’s 135 deputies — participated in drawing up the text.

Meanwhile, leading figures of the Popular Party (PP) united in condemnation of Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba’s stated willingness to study a shift to a federal state, which he described as an “improvement on the model of autonomous regions.”

PP secretary general María Dolores de Cospedal called the idea “extreme irresponsibility,” and called on Rubalcaba to explain precisely what he is proposing. “If they want to break the Constitution they will find the PP in their way,” she warned.

Of Mas’ threat to call early elections in Catalonia, Cospedal said that such a move would demonstrate his “political and economic failure” as the head of CiU.

The Association of Spanish Military Personnel, which is not a registered member of the armed services’ professional associations, also weighed in with a stark statement warning that anyone who contributes to the fracturing of the Spanish state should answer to military justice for the “serious charge of high treason.”

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