Three out of four Spanish national parties represented in the Congress of Deputies (Parliament's lower chamber) yesterday passed a motion seeking to prevent Catalonia from calling a referendum on self-determination next year. The Popular Party (PP) and the Socialist Party (PSOE) gave their support to a text introduced by Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD) party, in which it is said that "in no case, any part of the [Spanish] citizenship can decide on the State's territorial organization, or on any other aspect or provision of the Constitution, excluding the others from this eventual decision". The motion continues by stating that "splitting up the citizenship" or "redefining the subject of national sovereignty, which is none other than the Spanish people", cannot be accepted.
The result (265 MPs for, out of 350) showed that three parties hold a very large majority in the Congress, and that they fundamentally agree on the idea that Catalonia cannot organize a vote on independence because Catalans are not a sovereign subject. This is exactly the contrary that was decided in the Catalan Parliament on January. Then, almost two thirds of the Catalan MPs passed a resolution in which they declared Catalonia to be "a sovereign political and legal subject". Catalan parties say that Catalonia has the "right to decide" on its own future.
The motion in the Spanish Congress was rejected by MPs belonging to the Spanish national leftist party United Left (IU) and to the Catalan, Basque, Galician and Aragonese national parties.
UPyD seeks "cooperative federalism"
UPyD officially says it is a "federalist" party, albeit with a peculiar understanding of it. According to what UPyD labels as "cooperative federalism", powers on education, health, justice and environment -now partially in the hands of the autonomous communities- should be re-centralized.
The party was established in 2007 by former PSOE MEP Rosa Díez. It holds five MPs in the Spanish Congress and one MEP in the European Parliament.
(Image: UPyD leader Rosa Díez / picture by Midir.)