Inquiring minds may be interested in the latest events in Europe on an otherwise slow news weekend. Via translation from El Singular, 800 Towns in Catalonia Openly Pledge Support for Independence Referendum.

This morning, more than 800 mayors delivered to Catalan president Mas certificates in support of the November 9 referendum for Independence. The mayors represent 96% of the Catalan municipalities. A total of 920 councils who have so far voted in favor of N-9, but some mayors did not want to participate in the event.

Since 1918 there has not been a similar concentration of mayors in Catalonia.

The Mayor of Barcelona, ​​Xavier Trias, thanked the 800 mayors who approved the motion to defend the right to decide.

“It is our responsibility to fulfill the legitimate mandate coming from all over Catalonia,” emphasized Trias and asked the mayors to do everything they can to ensure Catalans have the right to vote on November 9.

71% of Catalans Support Right to Vote

The Wall Street Journal notes overwhelming support for the referendum.

A poll taken last week by the regional government’s Center of Opinion Studies found 71% of Catalans favored the Nov. 9 referendum.

Catalan separatists say Spain’s central government doesn’t respect their language and culture, or give them a fair return on their taxes. Spanish leaders say Catalonia has plenty of autonomy, and that the Catalan political class just needs to put its house in order.

Without a doubt the number would be far higher than 71% if Spain’s government had not declared the vote illegal.

Catalonia Autonomy

Let’s take a look at the region of Catalonia.

Statutes of Autonomy

In the Spanish Constitution of 1978 Catalonia, along with the Basque Country and Galicia, was defined as a “nationality”. The same constitution gave Catalonia the automatic right to autonomy, which resulted in the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of 1979.

Both the 1979 Statute of Autonomy and the current one, approved in 2006, state that “Catalonia, as a nationality, exercises its self-government constituted as an Autonomous Community in accordance with the Constitution and with the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, which is its basic institutional law, always under the law in Spain”.

The Preamble of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia states that the Parliament of Catalonia has defined Catalonia as a nation, but that “the Spanish Constitution recognizes Catalonia’s national reality as a nationality”. While the Statute was approved by and sanctioned by both the Catalan and Spanish parliaments, and later by referendum in Catalonia, it has been subject to a legal challenge by the surrounding autonomous regions of Aragon, Balearic Islands and the Valencian Community, as well as by the conservative People’s Party.

Spain’s Constitutional Court assessed the disputed articles and on 28 June 2010, issued its judgment on the principal allegation of unconstitutionality presented by the People’s Party in 2006. The judgment granted clear passage to 182 articles of the 223 that make up the fundamental text. The court approved 73 of the 114 articles that the People’s Party had contested, while declaring 14 articles unconstitutional in whole or in part and imposing a restrictive interpretation on 27 others.

The court accepted the specific provision that described Catalonia as a “nation”, however ruled that it was a historical and cultural term with no legal weight, and that Spain remained the only nation recognized by the constitution.

Humpty Dumpty Chides Artur Mas

Catalonia is already a nation but the term has no “legal weight“.

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty (Mariano Rajoy) said, in a rather scornful tone,’ it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice (Artur Mas) ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty (Mariano Rajoy), ‘which is to be master – that’s all.’

Mike “Mish” Shedlock