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The Democratic state responds

Government acts to restore constitutional legality in Catalonia

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The Democratic state responds
In English
  • The Democratic State responds

Faced with an exceptional challenge, Government, with agreement of main opposition parties, PSOE and citizens, has taken an equally exceptional step: to go to Senate to propose a series of measures which, in accordance with article 155 of Constitution, prevent The president of Generalitat will continue to act against general interest and ensure compliance by Government and Catalan Parliament of its constitutional obligations. Both institutions have been placed out of legality: acting against m is fully justified.

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The proposed measures, including dismissal of government as a whole and dissolution of Parlament with a view to call for autonomous elections, are, in doubt, as drastic as y are forceful. It is not way I wanted to undertake government or path desired by any Democrat. It is very painful for those who conceived and supported this Constitution — based, to a great extent, on state of autonomy — to attend this great failure. But horror should not confuse us: only Puigdemont and those who accompanied him, openly or in shadows, in this crazy adventure against rule of law are responsible for what happened.

It is impossible to know difficulty of implementing se measures and possible complications of public order that can be generated in ir execution. But it is undeniable that y are, at same time, proportionate and symmetrical to challenge posed by an independentism whose threat to constitutional order is as serious as that suffered by Spanish democracy on 23-F of 1981.

Let's not get confused. All institutions of state, from King Felipe VI to Constitutional Court, going through main parties, have agreed to point out that with ir actions on September 6 and 7, Govern and Parlament have suspended self-government of Catalonia and Repealed both Statute of Autonomy and Constitution of 1978. This has been recognized by independenceists in ir public manifestations and embodied in laws of referendum and transience. Although it is but anor example of cynicism to which we are accustomed, it is surprising that secessionists argue now that autonomy has been suspended and claim its value.

The measures are drastic, forceful and proportional to independence challenge

So far government has been justifiably criticized for not being politically acting and hiding in or institutions and powers. Now, finally, Government decides to lead constitutional response to Catalan crisis. Rajoy has succeeded in adding to PSOE and citizens forging consensus that 155 needed: The three parties that support it represent 254 seats and 16 million votes, a majority as qualified as legitimate to act.

Democracy not only has right to defend itself but duty to do so. The state is not an abstract entity, it is institution to which we trust protection of our freedom and prosperity. That is why it has a coercive, legal and legitimate capacity. All States contemplate mechanisms such as 155 to correct deviations or abuses of power of governments or regions. All. That 155 has never been used does not delegitimize its application, on contrary.

Catalan citizens must be calm: rule of law protects m and ir rights and liberties are guaranteed. Also ir jobs, businesses, savings and economic interests, put in question by government. We are at beginning of return of Constitution and Statute to Catalonia. The autonomous elections will definitively restore that legality and show that, far from quelling democracy and voice of Catalans, it is Constitution that guarantees self-government.

It is Constitution that guarantees rights and liberties of Catalans, including self-government

We want that path to be traversed with least possible turbulence. But we ask three parties involved in this decision, which, demanding as it is due to best possible management of this delicate moment, to keep ir unity above difficulties and obstacles that may arise along way.

We have an opportunity from that moment to address problems of substance: recomposition of territorial structure, modernization of country, in short, constitutional reform that is made urgent in light of events of last Months. We find it very difficult to tackle that endeavour in same scenario we have today. A general election, perhaps coinciding with Catalan ones, could be appropriate instrument so that necessary subsequent negotiation is in hands of figures just emerged from ballot box.

Spain is a strong country. Our democracy enjoys same virtues and flaws as most advanced in world. But like all of m, he occasionally needs a thorough overhaul. Since birth of constitutional text in 1978, several generations of Spaniards have already passed. It is time to connect all of m with our fundamental law, by in ir modernization. I hope that serious crisis that we have before eyes gives us breath that is required to undertake this difficult and fundamental mission.

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