Central government to challenge Catalan assembly’s sovereignty declaration

The decision follows rulings by solicitor general’s office and State Council

The central government on Friday said it would challenge the legality of a sovereignty declaration made by the Catalan assembly in January with the Constitutional Court.

The decision was taken after the administration of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy received the backing to do so from the State Council, a consultative body whose rulings are non-binding. The Council issued a judgment on Thursday that indicated there are sufficient legal grounds to dispute the assembly’s declaration on January 23 the Catalan people constitute a "sovereign political and legal entity."

The solicitor general’s office has also come out in favor of taking the issue of the declaration to the Constitutional Court on the grounds that it breached the article in the Constitution that upholds the “indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation.”

“Our obligation as the government is to comply with and ensure that laws are complied with,” Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said at a press conference after the regular Friday Cabinet meeting. She said that the declaration by the Catalan assembly “is incompatible with the Constitution.”

In response, newswire Europa Press quoted Catalan premier Artur Mas as saying it was “out of place” for the Cabinet to challenge the declaration and called on Madrid to change its attitude.

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