Spanish government takes Commission for the National Transition before Constitutional Court

It believes there is a conflict of jurisdiction and asks for its suspension, two weeks after doing the same with the state structures

MARIONA FERRER I FORNELLS Madrid

A new brake has been applied by the Spanish government to the creation of state structures. On Friday Spanish Vice-president Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría announced that Spain would take Catalonia’s Commission for the National Transition before Madrid’s Constitutional Court (CC), citing a conflict of jurisdiction. The decision comes only two weeks after the same was done with the Catalan law that seeks to promote state structures. As Sáenz de Santamaría explained, this time, however, it is not a challenge on constitutional grounds --it is not about a law because the Commission was created by decree-- but rather a conflict of jurisdiction.

During a press conference after Friday’s cabinet meeting, the Spanish government spokesperson put forward the same arguments as two weeks earlier. Spain believes that the Catalan Commission is a body whose purpose is not Constitutional reform, but rather "to determine the actions to be taken following a unilateral declaration of independence". The conflict comes to the CC after the Generalitat "ignored" Madrid’s request last April to refrain from appointing a Commissioner.

The current commissioner is Carles Viver Pi-Sunyer, and he is charged with "promoting, coordinating, and implementing the necessary measures for the culmination of the process of National Transition, and monitoring the state structures". Viver Pi-Sunyer joined the Catalan government this past April and works within the Department of the Presidency, where he participates in cabinet meetings. In an interview on TV3 at the beginning of the year, when he already knew that he would be appointed, Viver Pi-Sunyer gave assurances that they would have "everything ready for the disconnection (independence). "We’ll just need to push a button", he added.

This is the third decision by the Generalitat that Madrid has taken before the Spanish Constitutional Court in the last month. As such, Mariano Rajoy’s government continues to warn that it will challenge "all decisions and actions of the Parliament or the Generalitat that are aimed at creating state structures". According to Sáenz de Santamaría, the Commission and the plans to roll out national structures are "a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of the Spanish people", of the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation", and of "the equality of all Spaniards". 

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