Home News Court to reject ‘nation’ in Catalonia statute

Court to reject ‘nation’ in Catalonia statute

Published on November 23, 2009

Madrid – Spain's constitutional court will reject the term "nation" used in Catalonia's new "statute of autonomy", setting the stage for a major political crisis, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported Sunday.

The preamble of the statute, which expanded the already significant powers of the region’s government, defines the northern region as a "nation".

The approval of the Socialist government-backed text by parliament and in a 2006 referendum angered the main opposition Popular Party, who asked the court to review it.

"After the deliberations of the past months, the general opinion is that the term ‘nation’ will be taken out of the statute’s preamble, unless something changes at the last minute," El Pais said, without citing a source.

The court is expected to hand down its final ruling before Christmas, a conservative judge on the court previously told El Pais.

The statute, which aims to clarify the division of political powers between Spain and Catalonia, has the support of the vast majority of political parties in the region – home to around seven million of Spain’s population of just over 46 million people.

They have threatened to stage massive street demonstrations if any changes are made to it.

The 10 judges on the court are divided with conservatives and liberals disagreeing over the text, according to a judicial source.

The statute’s requirements for people living in Catalonia to master the Catalan language and recognise "national symbols", such as the flag and anthem, have caused heated debate.

AFP / Expatica