Madrid Woos Catalonia with Constitutional Reform Debate

Madrid Woos Catalonia with Constitutional Reform Debate
Fecha de publicación: 
7 August 2015
Imagen principal: 

The question of division of responsibilities comes at a particularly critical moment as the Catalan elections approach at the end of September.

Spain’s constitution could be given an overhaul as the ruling People’s Party debate whether to redefine the responsibilities of the state.

Speaking to Europa Press, Justice Minister Rafael Catala said that he was in favor of resetting the state’s and autonomous communities delimitations, contrary to the wishes of President Mariano Rajoy, who has wanted to avoid the reform in his administration.

The move comes at a critical moment, as Catalans prepare to vote in an independence referendum Sept. 27, leading Catalan commentators to conclude that the possibility of constitutional change and redivision of responsibilties is an attempt to pacify the separatists.

“That reform could be an open door to attract Catalonia to a constitutional consensus, after the 27-S elections,” wrote Carmen del Riego in Catalan newpaper La Vanguardia.

Another focus of the constitutional change, according to Catala, is the urgent need to improve the sexist system of succession in the monarchy, and the impunity that the royal family enjoys.

“The autonomous state could be defined better,” the minister said. “What could be defined better are the limitations of the state and those of the autonomous communities.”

“We could take advantage of 37 years of experience to see how the mechanisms of coordination and cooperation are reinforced. I think it is possible,” he added.

The PP has, until now, rejected any constitutional reform.

Catalonia, home to 7.5 million people and accounts for a fifth of Spain's output, has fought for hundreds of years for independence. At the beginning of the week, Catalan President Artur Mas signed a decree calling for a plebiscite over the cessation for Sept. 27, which if successful, could see the north-eastern region separating from Madrid within 18 months.

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