Ar­ti­cle 155... a mat­ter of words

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Spanish News -

AR­TI­CLE 155 of the Spanish Con­sti­tu­tion reads:

"If an au­ton­o­mous com­mu­nity (re­gion) does not ful­fil the obli­ga­tions that the Con­sti­tu­tion and other laws im­pose, or acts in a way that gravely goes against the gen­eral in­ter­est of Spain, the Govern­ment, af­ter sum­mon­ing the pres­i­dent of the au­ton­o­mous com­mu­nity or, if not an­swered, with the ap­proval of the ma­jor­ity of the Sen­ate, can adopt the nec­es­sary mea­sures to oblige it to com­pul­so­rily ful­fil such obli­ga­tions to pro­tect the afore­men­tioned gen­eral in­ter­est."

The state­ment that the 'pres­i­dent of the re­gion must be sum­moned to an­swer' first is, in fact, the only le­gal re­quire­ment re­main­ing to al­low the govern­ment to en­force this ar­ti­cle.

Sr Puigde­mont's vague and 'sus­pended' dec­la­ra­tion has led the govern­ment to de­mand clar­i­fi­ca­tion beyond all doubt.

Sr Puigde­mont ac­tu­ally said on Tues­day:

"The govern­ment (re­gional) and I pro­pose that par­lia­ment sus­pends the ef­fects of the dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence so over the next weeks we can en­gage in a di­a­logue with­out which it is not pos­si­ble to reach an agreed so­lu­tion."

But af­ter say­ing this, Sr Puigde­mont and other pro-in­de­pen­dence par­ties signed an 'in­for­mal' in­de­pen­dence dec­la­ra­tion on a let­ter headed with shield of Cataluña and read­ing 'Dec­la­ra­tion of the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Cataluña'.

The dec­la­ra­tion says it 'con­sti­tutes the repub­lic of Cataluña as an in­de­pen­dent sov­er­eign, le­gal, demo­cratic and so­cial state'.

The am­bi­gu­ity between the two dec­la­ra­tions is what the govern­ment seeks to clar­ify, es­pe­cially as the dec­la­ra­tion signed by pro-in­de­pen­dence par­ties was re­garded as 'in­for­mal' and is not signed - as would be re­quired by the very law they ap­proved (that was later branded il­le­gal) - by the ref­er­en­dum vot­ing com­mis­sion.

If Sr Puigde­mont makes the dec­la­ra­tion 'for­mal' and stands by it, the govern­ment could im­me­di­ately en­force Ar­ti­cle 155 be­cause the PP has a ma­jor­ity of seats in the Sen­ate.

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