“The referendum is not constitutional”

The unionist parties insist: “it doesn’t depend on us, the right to decide has no place in the Spanish Constitution”. But they themselves knocked this argument down decisively in 2011. In the summer of 2011, the PSOE government, with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as President, agreed to amend the Spanish Constitution, in record time and with no referendum.

The amendment was designed to meet the demands of the European Union — represented by Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy — to make budgetary stability a part of the Spanish Constitution. Austerity was set in stone for all the institutions of the Spanish State, from the central government, through the autonomous communities, to town councils.

Leaving aside the fact that “zero deficit” is part of the neoliberal dogma and very dubious as a government strategy, they confirmed what was already known. When they want to amend the Constitution, they can. The constitutional argument is an excuse, not a real reason.

In addition, 600 legal experts in Catalonia — including Mercè Barceló, Professor of Constitutional Law at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and Enoch Albertí i Rovira, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Barcelona — signed a manifesto insisting that it is possible to hold a referendum under the current Spanish Constitution. Again, it is not a legal or constitutional problem, but a political one.

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