Luis R. Corteguera: Declaration of Independence by Catalonia Might Move Madrid to Apply Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution (EXCLUSIVE)
"Armedia" IAA presents an exclusive interview with Luis R. Corteguera, professor, associate chair at the Department of History in the University of Kansas (the main field of research is the early modern Spain) on the results of Catalan independence referendum and the possible developments.
- In quite difficult conditions, Catalonia was able to hold an independence referendum. How would you assess the process? Can it be considered a legitimate one?
- The voting that took place in Catalonia last Sunday was a political victory for advocates of independence and a serious defeat to the central government, which had vowed a vote would not happen. The large turnout that defied court orders declaring the referendum illegal and the extraordinary police deployment to stop the vote belies the Spanish government’s assertion that a referendum did not take place. Yet questions remain about the referendum results, given the chaotic situation in many polling stations and the fact that police prevented some people from voting and confiscated ballots. Moreover, the board charged with certifying the results of the vote resigned days before the referendum to avoid fines imposed by the courts. The legitimacy of the results is therefore unclear. The fact that less than fifty per cent of voters participated also undermines that legitimacy.
- How would you comment the actions of the official Madrid during this process?
- The central government in Madrid insists it achieved its goal of preventing the referendum from taking place in an orderly and smooth fashion. However, there is a widespread sense that the situation has gotten out of its control. Efforts to stop the vote by relying on the courts to declare the referendum illegal, by taking control of Catalan finances to prevent expenditures on the referendum, and finally, by deploying thousands of police to thwart the vote, has had the opposite effect of emboldening the Catalan government and supporters of independence. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy maintains his government will continue to follow the proper course of action to defend the Spanish constitution, but this strategy not only failed to stop thousands of people in the streets from supporting the defiant Catalan authorities, it led to the ineffectual use of police force that has eroded international support for the central government.
- What developments to expect? Will the sides sit down for a dialogue?
- Catalan authorities continue to call for international mediation, preferably from the European Union, which has refused to intervene in what it calls an internal Spanish matter. Catalan President Puigdemont announced Sunday night he will soon present the results of the referendum to the Parliament of Catalonia, which last month approved a law stipulating a unilateral declaration of independence if the results of the vote favored independence. Authorities in Madrid have not announced what course of action they will take, but a declaration of independence might move it to apply article 155 of the Spanish constitution, which allows the Spanish government to establish direct rule over an autonomous government for extraordinary reasons. This would constitute an extreme measure, never taken in forty years of democratic rule. Other proposals for Spanish mediation have thus far gained little traction. And so, the future remains uncertain.
- EU Leaders Fail on Migration After the meeting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that the bloc had a hard job ahead of it to reform asylum rules by a deadline of June next year.
- EU Leaders' Summit: What's on the Agenda? Three major items dominate the agenda: Brexit, defense and migration.
- Martin Schulz Is For a Creation of a "United States of Europe" "The question isn’t grand coalition or no grand coalition," he said, "Nor minority government or fresh elections. No — it’s about how we exercise our responsibility, including to the next generation."
- "Armenian Day" in the Historic Polish Castle A number of those in attendance delivered remarks and offered presentations on various subjects concerning Armenia, Poland, and the centuries-old ties between the two nations.
- Germany Offers to Pay Migrants to Go Home The program is called "Your country. Your future. Now!"
Egypt Opens Gaza Border for Four Days
MFA Of Armenia: Ankara Is Not Ready To Normalize The Armenian-Turkish Relations
Rex Tillerson: North Korea Must Earn Right to Talks
China and UK to Strengthen Economic and Financial Cooperation
Weather Forecast in Armenia : Precipitation is Predicted
Trump Said The Worst People Come To U.S. By Visa Lottery
Trump Says He Would like to Have Russia’s Help with North Korea
Former Policeman Arrested within Case of Russian Ambassador’s Assassination in Turkey
Manchester United is Planning to Sell Mkhitaryan to make space for Mesut Ozil
Syria Accuses Saudi Arabia and the UN for the Failure of Negotiations
EU Leaders Fail on Migration
Donald Trump Thanks Vladimir Putin after his Press-Conference
French School Bus Cut in Two in Rail Crash
Serzh Sargsyan on Karabakh Conflict: It Is Not Possible to Negotiate with One Hand and to Fire with Another
The Next Phase of Brexit Negotiations to Start Soon
UN Warns against 'Sleepwalking' into War over North Korea
Turkey to Open Embassy in East Jerusalem
Turkey’s 37th: How Erdogan Started ''Cleansing'' of His Own Party
Armenian Government Allocated 31.9 Million Drams for Establishing Scientific Research Institute of Chess
Walt Disney Buys Murdoch's Fox for $52.4bn
Armenian Patriarch and 12 other Heads of Churches in Jerusalem Wrote a Letter to President Trump
Russians Should Be Driven out Like Dogs, Armenians Must Be Massacred: Azerbaijani "Scientist''
Tigran Mansurian’s "Requiem" Nominated for Grammy Award
Putin Pushed Erdogan’s Chair to the Ground (VIDEO)
It Is Natural to Be in Artsakh and Struggle along with the People of Artsakh: Today Hero Monte Melkonyan Turns 60
Armenia Pays Tribute to the Memory of the Victims of 1988 Spitak Earthquake
TV Channel Discovery Has Shot 6 Videos about Armenia
Statement by the "European Integration" NGO on Signing the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the EU
NKR Defense Army Servicemen Gegham Zaqaryan, Sargis Abrahamyan, Sargis Meliqyan, Posthumously Awarded with the "For Service in Battle" Medal
Lebanese-Armenian Independent Researcher: The Crisis in Lebanon Is Not Over (EXCLUSIVE)
Wind: 6.44 km/h