Nation, financing and shielding skills, obstacles to overcome

The president of the Parliament of Catalonia, Ernest Benach 

The president of the Parliament of Catalonia, <strong>Ernest Benach</strong>&nbsp;

delivered today to the president of the Congress the text of the Statute of Catalonia, approved last 30th by the Catalan parliament.

The term “nation”, the financing model and several aspects related to the powers of the Generalitat, such as its “shielding” against possible state aggressions, will be the main obstacles for the Cortes to approve the statute of Catalonia presented today in the Congress .

Benach called for dialogue and agreement in the processing of the Statute for the “field of play is the Constitution”, and qualified that the text “does not want to break anything and is not a declaration of independence.”

The debate on the reform of the Catalan Statute has been marked from the beginning by the commitment adopted in November 2003 by the President of the Government – then a candidate to be – to respect the text of the Statute as agreed in the Parliament of Catalonia. Zapatero added two conditions to this commitment: that the text should be covered by a broad consensus and that it stick to the margins of the Constitution.


If the first seems to be fulfilled – the text has been approved with 120 votes in favor and 15 against – the second will be the touchstone of its parliamentary procedure.

The same day of its approval by the Parliament of Catalonia, the vice president Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega recalled those two conditions and said that the support to the proposal of the Catalan Parliament does not mean that the text can not be touched up if there are aspects that can be considered unconstitutional

The own Pasqual Maragall , although convinced that the project will be approved in the Cortes, admitted then that “it will be necessary to see in what conditions and with what sacrifices, that we will try that they are the minimum ones”.

Once rejected the rejection of the PP , the question is focused on knowing the position of the socialist parliamentary group since several prominent leaders of that party have shown their objections in several aspects.

So did the president of the party and the Junta de Andalucía, Manuel Chaves , by stating that he does not agree with the project and ensuring that the Congress is the “maximum guarantee that all the statutes will be constitutional in the line of guaranteeing chesion “

Alfonso Guerra , president of the Constitutional Commission of Congress -which should dictate the project-, has predicted that the negotiation will be “complicated long”, because “there are many articles that pose difficulties of constitutional reserve” and that Congress will have to “observe and, probably, modify. “

For War, the aspects that can provoke a greater debate are the definition of Catalonia as ation, the financing “that is removed from the current legislation” and three aspects of the definition of competitions: the use of article 150.2 of the Constitution, the proposals of mdification of organic laws and the “shielding” of competencies.

Although Maragall said he is convinced that this definition will be accepted in the final text, such as José Antonio Alonso or José Bono, reminded that the Constitution reserves the term “nation” for Spain.

The president of Extremadura, Juan Carlos Roríguez Ibarra , openly rejects it and believes that Zapatero will “never” accept it and describes the reform of the Statute as “offensive” for the interests and the ignorance of Extrmadura and has requested that the Government and the Courts of Law ” they abide by the conditions that enabled and allowed Extremadura to become an Autonomous Community, “and that” nobody can change unilaterally.

Another minister, Juan Fernando López Aguilar , believes that this is a “sensitive” issue, but that “it should not pre-plan as long as it does not harm Spanish sovereignty, which resides in the Cortes Generales, nor the equality of fundamental rights.”

Also the financing model that includes the Statute aroused distrust from its first versions. Fernández de la Vea herself acknowledged that the initial proposal of the tripartite was not in line with the government’s intention.

Subsequently, both she and the economic vice president, Pedro Solbes , have insisted again and again that the modifications of regional financing should not be addressed bilaterally but multilaterally between the State and all the CCAA. These will be some of the main aspects, although not all, which will be addressed in November in a parliamentary procedure that will last for months.

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