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Spanish Constitution target of criticism on second day of campaign

All parties but two claim that Spain’s current Carta Magna, which turned 39 on Wednesday, is no longer working

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06 December 2017 07:46 PM

by

Guifré Jordan | Barcelona

The Spanish Constitution turned 39 this Wednesday, coinciding with the second day of the electoral campaign in Catalonia. And it is not in good health, at least according to the widespread criticism by most parties running in the December 21 vote.

Socialists leader calls for change

“The moment has come,” said the Socialist leader, Miquel Iceta, to review “things that have not worked out well” in the Magna Carta. His party is against independence and was in favor of enforcing Article 155 of the Constitution, meaning a temporary suspension of Catalan self-rule, but he claims it is time to make changes. Despite this, Iceta did say that the text has contributed to “the 39 best years of Spain’s history.”

Catalonia in Common: "We have a problem"

The Socialists’ criticism was mild compared to other parties. Left-wing Catalonia in Common (CeC), ambiguous over a Catalan state but in favor of a self-determination referendum, also stands for a new Carta Magna. “When a bloc presents itself as constitutionalist, when in theory the Constitution is everyone’s, this is the maximum evidence that we have a problem,” said CeC leader, Xavier Domènech, referring to the unionist bloc.

Constitution asphyxiates us, says ERC official

The pro-independence left-wing Esquerra party set the text as the target of all criticism on Wednesday. “Today we have to celebrate a Constitution that asphyxiates us, that makes us uniform and takes away our rights as every day goes by,” said Marta Rovira.

She added that that the Magna Carta “imposes a uniforming model, based on its Article 2 to impose unity and not diversity.”

People are freezing to death, denounce far-left CUP

The far-left CUP has gone even deeper in detail. For the also pro-independence party, the Constitution “means in fact that people are freezing to death.” Its leader made these remarks on Wednesday, one day after a judicial order branding illegal the Catalan government protocol to avoid leaving vulnerable people  without electricity . For the CUP, basic supplies such as gas, water and electricity should be internalized.

PDeCAT representatives shun constitution celebration in Madrid

Together for Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont’s candidacy, bears a similar stance against the current Spanish Constitution. In fact, no representatives of PDeCAT, the party supporting the candidacy, took part in the anniversary of the Magna Carta in Madrid.

Two of the candidates freed on Monday after 32 nights in prison also took part in the election campaign this Wednesday. Both of them, deposed ministers Jordi Turull and Josep Rull, gave some details on their incarceration. “While testifying, the judge was looking at her mobile phone, she was doing everything but listening to us,” said Rull. Turull added that when being  sent to prison, he was handcuffed from the back and they took out his glasses, shoelaces and belt.

Constitution includes equality, prosperity and freedom, says Ciutadans leader

Diametrically opposed to them, unionist Ciutadans also defends a modification of the Constitution. Yet its leader, Inés Arrimadas, said that the text has been a major contributor to “the longest peace and democracy period in Spain’s history.” She said that it includes equality, prosperity, freedom and political pluralism.

Catalan People's Party in defence of Spain's constitution

The People’s Party has been the only party to avoid any criticism of the 1978 text. Its leader in Catalonia, Xavier García Albiol, claimed that “the Constitution means freedom and democracy in Catalonia.” According to him, it also means coexistence and “it has emerged as a democratic response to the pro-independence abuses.”

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  • The Socialists candidate Miquel Iceta speaking on Wednesday (by ACN)