AS SPAIN'S north-eastern region of Catalunya seeks to break away from the mother country in the eyes of the world's media, the fact that a chunk of national territory has already 'left' Spanish soil this...
Royal snub for Catalunya's new and ex-presidents
CATALUNYA regional president Artur Mas' 'farewell' notice in official papers has pointedly not thanked him for his time in office – the first, and very pointed, time this has happened in modern democracy in Spain.
Acting central government president Mariano Rajoy (PP) and the reigning Monarch, King Felipe VI would normally sign off a standard advert in the State Official Bulletin (BOE) reading: “I hereby declare the cessation of [politician in question], thanking him/her for his/her services rendered.”
This was the message used for president José María Aznar (PP) after he lost the 2004 general elections; his successor José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and for Felipe VI's father, King Juan Carlos I, when he abdicated in June 2014.
It was also the standard procedure when Mas' predecessor José Montilla Aguilera was replaced in 2010, and even for the keenly pro-separatist Basque president Juan José Ibarretxe.
But the notice for Catalunya's fiercely pro-independence leader simply read: “I hereby declare the cessation of Artur Mas i Gavarró as regional president of Catalunya.”
Only this week, on Monday, when Mas' replacement Carles Puigdemont was named, King Felipe did not, as he usually would, meet with the regional Parliamentary chair in the Zarzuela Palace to be advised of the new president.
Instead, he sent a message to Catalunya's Parliamentary leader Carmen Forcadell asking her to inform him in writing.
Both these actions have been seen as a clear snub to Catalunya's outgoing and incoming presidents, who are determined to forge ahead with turning the region into a separate country.
Puigdemont, from the same party as Mas, is said to be an even more radically pro-secession politician, and the Junts pel Sí ('together for yes', or JxSí) coalition with the CUP means those in favour of independence have a clear majority in Catalunya.
They have announced that their plan will allow them to declare Catalunya a country in its own right within 18 months.
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