The Catalan regional government has drafted a secret bill that is designed to oversee the Spanish region’s transition to an independent state with or without a secession referendum, El País reported Monday.
The pro-independence Catalan government, known as the Generalitat, is currently locked in a battle with Madrid over its demands for an independence vote.
According to El País, the Generalitat’s bill indicates it intends to move toward independence even if the Spanish government forbids it from holding a referendum. The ruling coalition promised a vote no later than September this year when it came to power in 2015.
If the government does hold a referendum, the question will be: “Should Catalonia be a state independent from Spain?” There won’t be a minimum participation threshold and if a majority is in favor of independence, the decision will be ratified and binding.
The Spanish constitution does not allow for secession. Earlier this year, a federal court barred the former Catalan President Artur Mas and two other former officials from public office for holding a symbolic independence referendum in 2014. The former officials were also fined thousands of euros.
The bill would appropriate Catalonia-related cases from the national courts to the newly formed Catalan courts, which would dismiss all pending cases against people charged with independence-related illegal activities.
El País said that “despite being plagued by legal holes and unknowns,” the document also addressed questions regarding who could become a Catalan citizen, which Spanish laws the Catalan government would retain, and what would happen to national government officials who live in Catalonia and projects being implemented by Madrid in the region.
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