[JURIST] The Parliament of Catalonia [official website, in Catalan] voted Thursday to hold an independence referendum next September. This move has exacerbated tensions [DW report] with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy [Britannica profile], whose party has consistently rejected Catalan’s attempts at independence. Following the vote, the Constitutional Court of Spain said it is considering a suit against the Catalonian speaker of the parliament for allowing the vote.
The Catalonia independence movement has gathered momentum in recent years following the economic crisis in the country that began in 2008. Last year the Constitutional Court of Spain declared unconstitutional [JURIST report] a resolution by the Parliament of Catalonia that proposed a plan for the region’s independence from Spain by 2017. In September of last year the High Court of Justice of Catalonia summoned [JURIST report] Catalonia President Artur Mas over his involvement in the 2014 independence referendum [JURIST report]. In 2014 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].