Miriam Nogueras speaks in the Spanish Parliament. (Photo by Aldara Zarraoa/Getty Images)


Catalan separatists threaten to veto EU funds for Spain


The separatist Junts per Catalunya party (Junts) is threatening to veto EU funds for Spain.

According to the party, led by Carles Puigdemont, the Spanish Supreme Court could undermine a draft the amnesty law covering those who attempted to declare Catalonia independent in 2017 by using provisions including in the EU’s Next Generation funds.

The Junts leader in the Spanish Parliament, Miriam Nogueras, said her party will vote against the Prime Minister’s first royal decree-law, which would implement the EU funding, because it might “paralyse” a pending amnesty for convicted Catalan separatists.

The threat jeopardises the fourth disbursement of the European Recovery funds to Spain.

The law contains key provisions on “justice, public service, conciliation and employment subsidies.” Separatists complain about a specific justice provision in the bill, which states that a court in Spain may suspend application of a law while it seeks a ruling in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

According to Junts’ analysis, the Spanish Supreme Court could use this resource to refuse to apply the amnesty law to the convicted Catalan separatists.

Puigdemont’s party has labelled the Sánchez-proposed royal-decree law a “trap.”

Nogueras added that the provisions in the bill do not respect the regional competences of the Catalonian Autonomous Community. She also claimed that if the bill is passed Catalonia would be “underfunded.”

This is the first royal-decree law Sánchez presents to Congress after his reelection as Prime Minister on November 16. His fragile coalition government is facing one of its first challenges, observers say.

So far, the Spanish government has made key concessions to the separatist parties.

Sánchez promised to forgive €15 bn in Catalonian debt to maintain his partnership with the six Junts MPs in Congress.

The Prime Minister is also planning to introduce a law “in defence of multilingualism.”

Some separatist groups, including, the Esquerra Republicana (ERC) party are confident Pedro Sánchez will eventually agree to a self-determination referendum in Catalonia.

Last week, Sánchez met with the ERC president of the Catalonia Region, Pere Aragones. During this visit to Barcelona, the premier advocated for “a new age with stronger self-government” by the Generalitat.

ECR will not oppose Sánchez’s bill in Parliament.

The Prime Minister is set to meet with Carles Puigdemont after Congress approves the controversial amnesty law for Catalan separatists.