[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Spain [official website, in Spanish] on Wednesday suspended [press release, PDF, in Spanish] Catalonia’s secession resolution following an appeal by the Spanish central government asking the court to review the resolution. Earlier this week the Catalan Parliament passed the resolution to begin secession [JURIST report] from Spain, declaring that the decision is not subject to constitutional rulings and hoping to establish a republic [Reuters report] within 18 months. However, many expect the Constitutional Court will declare the resolution unconstitutional. Catalan independence leaders have vowed to continue their fight [BBC report] for separation from Spain despite the court’s formal suspension of their efforts.
The Catalonia independence movement has gathered momentum in recent years following the economic crisis in the country that began in 2008. Catalans have been increasingly supportive of separating from Spain, mainly because they feel Catalonia [BBC profile], an affluent region making one-fifth of Spain’s GDP, pays more to Spain’s central government than it gets in return and that the Spanish government is mostly at fault for the country’s economic instability. In September the High Court of Justice of Catalonia summoned [JURIST report] Catalonia President Artur Mas over his involvement in the 2014 independence referendum [JURIST report]. Last year Mas signed a decree [JURIST report] calling for a referendum on secession and independence from Spain, inciting confrontation from Spain’s central government in Madrid. In February 2014 Spain’s parliament rejected [JURIST report] Catalonia’s proposed referendum, which asked voters if they wanted Catalonia to become a state, and, in the case of an affirmative response, if they wanted this state to be independent. When Catalonia proceeded with the referendum, the Constitutional Court held the independence vote to be unconstitutional [JURIST report].