regional politics

Madrid threatens to legally question any further self-rule moves by Catalonia

Rajoy makes call to strengthen Spain at public function with regional leader Artur Mas

Madrid / Barcelona 10 MAY 2013 - 20:49 CET

Mariano Rajoy (r) and Catalan premier Artur Mas (c) enjoy a lighter moment on Friday. / MARTA PÉREZ (EFE)

Just two days after the Constitutional Court nullified a declaration of sovereignty passed by the Catalan regional assembly in January, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría on Friday said the government would take further legal action against any moves by the region to advance its self-rule cause.

Saénz de Santamaría said the administration had already asked the Attorney General’s Office to focus on a commission created by the Catalan parliament to advance the application of the assembly’s self-proclaimed right to decide on the region’s future status within Spain.

“Many people said the suit \[against the sovereignty declaration\] would not be admitted and despite all that the Constitutional Court accepted it,” the deputy prime minister said. “This paves the way to challenge, appeal or add to the appeal any future moves made by the Catalan government and parliament.”

Sáenz de Santamaría was speaking as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy coincided with Catalan premier Artur Mas at the Barcelona International Motor Show, where the emphasis was on economic rather than political matters.

However, Rajoy did make a call to strengthen Spain as a “great team.” “The greater this team is and the better able it is to set targets, the more able we will be,” the prime minister said.

Mas eschewed any reference to the sovereignty row and instead reiterated the regional government’s calls for the construction of the so-called Mediterranean Corridor transportation link, which would improve Catalonia’ connections with the rest of the regions on Spain’s eastern coast and Europe.

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