MADRID – The Parliamentary spokesman for a Catalan independence party on Thursday warned the acting prime minister that an independence referendum was to be unilaterally called up.
Joan Tarda, from the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), said during Mariano Rajoy’s investiture debate that the referendum would go ahead without the central government’s involvement.
He dared Rajoy to use any form of legislation against them and assured him that no Catalan independence party would submit itself to any potential punishments.
He said was willing to take the case to the United Nations and the European Court for Human Rights.
“The whole world will know that you intend to hold us back by force,” he said.
Rajoy, who is to submit himself on Thursday to the first round of votes for his reelection, accused the independence parties of not wanting to find a solution but to unilaterally impose the breaking up of Spain.
He reproached the fact that there was no way to negotiate with them when all they offered was a referendum.
The Spanish constitutional court has blocked all independence resolutions passed in the Catalonia regional Parliament by the Junts pel Si (Together for Yes) coalition and Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party.
On Oct. 6, the regional Catalan Parliament approved a proposal to hold an independence referendum with or without the State’s approval.
The non-binding referendum was first proposed by regional president Carles Puigdemont on Sept. 28 and was set to be held in Sept. 2017.
This week, Spanish courts opened an investigation against the president of the Catalan Parliament Carme Forcadell for allowing votes for independence-related resolutions.
Catalonia, which has 7.5 million residents, is one of the so-called “historic regions” and has a high level of autonomy.
The recent pro-independence push has contributed to the polarization of Spanish politics in recent years.