Court bars Homs from Congress over independence vote

Francesc Homs, fined and barred from office for role in 2014 independence referendum. Photo:José Luis Roca / Periódico
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• Supreme Court fines, bars Catalan politician from public office for two years
• Catalan Parlament defies gov’t and Court, funds another referendum this year

As Spain’s Supreme Court Tribunal Supremo was handing down a sentence Wednesday barring Catalan politician Francesc Homs from public office for 13 months and fining him 30,000 euros for his part in promoting an unconstitutional 2014 independence referendum in Catalonia, the northeastern region’s Parlament defied the central government and the courts by approving funding to hold another referendum later this year.

Homs, who is spokesman in Congress of the Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català (PDeCat, formerly CDC, or Convergencia Democrática de Cataluña), will have to give up his seat in Congress as a result of the sentence by the Supreme Court, which found him guilty of having ignored and actively contravened an advance order by Spain’s Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitutional) suspending the 9th November 2014 referendum. Three other Catalan politicians, including former president of Catalonia Artur Mas, were previously found guilty of contravening the Constitutional Court order and have been similarly fined and barred from holding office.

In a controversial vote to approve the 2017 budget for Catalonia’s Generalitat on Wednesday, pro-independence parties used their majority in the Catalan Parlament to pass an amendment that including financing to hold an independence referendum later this year as part of the  5.8 million euros earmarked for “electoral processes” in Catalonia. The amendment to the budget was passed over the objection of opposition parties, who not only cited the rulings by Spain’s highest courts that a referendum is unconstitutional but said that a referendum would violate Catalonia’s own governing Estatut.

► Read More in Spanish at El Periódico, Público and El País …

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