Spanish (and European) stocks surged this afternoon as headlines crossed that Catalan separatists were hoping to 'stall' proceedings in hope of negotiating with Madrid. That hopeful headline appears to have been crushed now as Bloomberg reports the Catalan regional parliament intends to meet as planned Monday, defying a suspension by Spain’s Constitutional Court.
As Bloomberg reports, Jordi Sanchez, who heads the Catalan National Assembly, said that lawmakers may need to gather in an alternative venue, but that the debate on an illegal referendum on independence from Spain will take place. Sanchez collaborates closely with Regional President Carles Puigdemont and the speaker in the Catalan legislature, Carme Forcadell. He helped organize the vote on Oct. 1.
“There will be some formula for the Catalan Parliament to convene and hold its meeting as planned,” Sanchez said in an interview in Barcelona.
“There will be a plenary session.”
While separatists are split on whether to declare independence next week, they are agreed that they need to hold the session on Monday to sustain the momentum in their campaign - clearly signalling that the 'stall' rumor was false.
Additionally, confirming the earlier concerns, Banco Sabadell has decided to move its corporate registered address outside of Catalonia, Europa Press reported, and Reuters reports that Spanish authorities will on Friday approve a decree that makes it easier for companies to transfer their legal base out of Catalonia.
The decree is tailor-made for Spanish lender Caixabank and would allow the bank to change its legal and tax base without having to hold a shareholder’s meeting.
Bank bonds bounced but were unconvinced that this solves the Catalan region's largest lenders' problems...
However, perhaps most ominously, TheSpainReport.com reports that the Spanish Defense Minister has warned "everything outside of democracy is a threat to our nation."
Spain's Defence Minister, María Dolores de Cospedal (PP) said on Thursday morning during a conference about women in the Spanish armed forces...
"The state of law has a duty to defend its citizens and therefore the duty to defend liberty and the law, because in a democracy the law is made by all of us."
"Either you are with the law or you are against it."
"With the law in hand, from a position of unity and addition, of institutional respect and with rules we have all given ourselves, we can continue to build a project that has been the most successful one in recent world history."
"The Constitution and our entire body of laws are our ensign but at the same time give us the instruments and means to protect our nation."
"It is in our legislation where all of us, absolutely all of us, are equal. It is precisely the law that makes us equal and avoids the tyranny of a few on the rest."
"That is precisely why no one can ignore it because they are placing themselves not only outside of the law but mean to place themselves above others."
Why is this so ominous?
Simple, Article 8 of the Spanish Constitution states that Spain's Armed Forces have the "mission of guaranteeing the sovereignty and independence of Spain, of defending her territorial integrity and constitutional order".
In other words - if the Catalans push for secession, thus breaking the 'territorial integrity' of the sovereign state, then Spain can send in the military to 'fix' the problem.