In direct defiance of Spain’s Constitutional Court, Catalan lawmakers have approved a resolution outlining the steps required for forming a separate state without the approval of Madrid. On Wednesday, 72 members of Catalonia’s 135-seat regional parliament approved the resolution to begin succession from Spain.
It stresses that the “only way” for Catalans to utilize their right to decide on their future is to disconnect from the rest of Spain. Following the vote, Madrid announced that it would be filing an appeal over the matter with the Constitutional Court on Friday. The resource-rich region provides at least one-fifth of Spain’s gross domestic product (GDP) and many of its residents believe they are disproportionately taxed by the government in Madrid.
Last week, Spain’s Constitutional Court ruled that the approval of such a text would be illegal. The Spanish government has repeatedly ruled out the possibility of independence for Catalonia. The Catalan pro-independence parties adopted a similar resolution on the separation process in November 2015 after winning a majority in the parliament two months earlier. Madrid declared the move unconstitutional.
In November 2014, then Catalan President Artur Mas staged a symbolic independence referendum after the government in Madrid blocked his bid to hold an official referendum. Nearly 80 percent of the 2.2 million people who took part in the vote backed secession, though the turnout was slightly more than 40 percent. Spain’s Constitutional Court immediately ruled the poll illegal.