Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catalá and Vice President Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said last week that the government has the necessary weapons to enforce the law by applying Article 155 of the Constitution, along with a recent amendment to the Constitutional Court's statutes –passed only with the ruling Popular Party votes– allowing the suspension of public officials who do not comply with the Court's rulings.
Both speak as if President Mas had committed a crime, which is in my view pressuring the judges. It should be remembered that the complaint brought against Mr. Mas, his then VP Joana Ortega and his Minister for Education Irene Rigau was ordered by Spain's Prime Minister Rajoy. The Attorney General overruled the prosecutors in Catalonia, who had not considered there was any wrongdoing in holding the mock referendum.
The ruling Popular Party government, along with the Spanish establishment and the mass media they control, are doing their utmost to convince everybody that the referendum, the court case and the support received by the defendants, pressuring the judges and threatening their independence –referring to the crowd that turned up outside the court when President Mas appeared before the judges last Thursday– all respond to a plan orchestrated by the evil Mr. Mas to stay in power at any price.
So, what is so terrible about what happened on November 9? Something called a participatory process, i.e. a civic, festive event where the people deposited non-official, non-binding ballots in non-official, non-binding cardboard ballot boxes. It was in fact a demonstration in which participants were counted one by one: 2.3 million, 1.8 of them favour of independence. Many Catalans –and not just those who joined the crowd outside the court to lend their support to Mr. Mas, nor those who voted for him– are outraged to see how the Popular Party and the Spanish government are acting against the Catalans' elected representatives, arbitrarily and in a spirit of revenge for the utter defeat they have suffered in the last elections, resorting to all and any of the powers of the State –using the laws to impose themselves, refusing to listen to the people of Catalonia.