At least 10 Nobel Peace Prize winners have signed a letter calling for mediation in the political crisis between Spain and Catalonia. The Catalan Government has vowed to declare independence in a parliamentary meeting set for Tuesday, but Spain’s deputy prime minister said the Spanish government would take action if Catalan separatist leaders keep their promise.
The group of Novel Peace Prize winners signing the letter includes Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchu, and Shirin Ebadi, as Nobel Peace laureate Jody Williams told The Associated Press.
Separatist leaders have said they would declare independence during Tuesday’s session in what ruling coalition lawmakers have called a “symbolic” move. If Catalans keep their promise, decisions would have to be made to “restore the law and democracy,” as Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz told the COPE radio station Monday.
She called for representatives of the Catalan government who still cared about democracy and freedom to refrain from taking part in measures supporting secession for the northeastern region.
The letter signed by Nobel Peace laureates comes one week after the Oct. 1 referendum on independence. Catalan authorities, who affirm the referendum validated their independence bid, claim the “Yes” side won the process with as much as 90 percent of the vote but the results are not null under Spanish law.
Benet Salellas, a lawmaker with the Catalan CUP party, told The Associated Press that the people he represented would not accept any other scenario different than an independence declaration on Tuesday’s session at the headquarters of the regional judiciary.
Jesus Barrientos, Catalonia’s top judicial official, asked the chief of the National Police force in the region to reinforce protection of the building, The Washington Post reported. He said in a statement that extra police protection is required to prevent any attempt to suspend the judiciary due to what the Spanish Law considers invalid measures.
Anti-independence supporters insist on keeping Spain intact
Several major banks and business have threatened to move their headquarters out of Catalonia if the separatist movement continues because they want to stay under the regulations of the European Union. Still, the Catalan government hasn’t slowed down its moves.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed to use all legal means to keep Spain’s territorial integrity intact. He has said he wants to use a constitutional clause under which Madrid could take over direct control of any region that violate the national constitution, according to a report by The Washington Post. This move might be legally sufficient given that Spain’s constitutional court had banned the electoral process held in Catalonia.
“Spain will not be divided and the national unity will be preserved. We will do everything that legislation allows us to ensure this,” Rajoy declared, as reported by German newspaper Die Welt. “We will prevent this independence from taking place.”
Mass protests were held in Catalonia against the heavy-handed police actions that followed the referendum.
However, those committed to stopping the separatist movement have organized large-scale rallies in Catalonia and Madrid. Only in the northeastern region of 7.5 million people nearly 350,000 individuals took part in the anti-independence protests Sunday. The protesters said Puidgemont should be taken into custody for holding an electoral process suspended by Spain’s constitutional court.
Source: The Washington Post