A senior figure in the Catalan Socialist party (PSC) and mayor of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Núria Marín, has asserted that the application of article 155 of the Constitution "does not solve the problem in Catalonia" and has asked for the issue to be addressed via a political response.
"Here there is a problem, a political problem. And we have to solve it with politics. Does Article 155 solve this problem? "No, it doesn't," said Marín, referring to the Spanish constitutional article which allowed the Madrid government to suspend Catalan autonomy in 2017 and rule directly. "Article 155 was applied at the time and it didn't solve the problem in Catalonia," she told Europa Press. "I think that introducing useless elements, like [treating] a symptom as though that would be the solution, is a political error."
Marín, who as well as being mayor of Catalonia's second largest city is head of the Barcelona provincial institution, the Diputació, made these comments shortly after her boss, acting Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez, had said in the Spanish Congress this Wednesday that he would apply "any article" of the Spanish Constitution in response to any attempt to violate the Constitution. The L'Hospitalet mayor said that in general terms she agreed with this, because "obviously the Constitution must be fulfilled".
Marín added that 155 is "an instrument for reaction to a specific moment that could happen here", but also commented that, when it was applied in Catalonia in 2017, it could have been useful at that time, but it did not solve the underlying problem.
"Not proud of this period"
Regarding the failure to reach an agreement on forming a new Spanish government under Pedro Sánchez, and the acting prime minister's announcement on Tuesday that Spaniards will return to the polls on November 10th, she explained that "the fault is everybody's".
Specifically, she pointed her finger at the leaders of the other three major Spanish parties Unidas Podemos, Ciudadanos and the Partido Popular, but did not deny that the Socialists held some of the responsibility, because, she said, the party knows how to be self-critical: "We are a party which looks at itself very critically and I am convinced that the prime minister does not feel proud of this period. He would probably recognize he held some of the blame himself, but the blame is everyone's. "
However, Marín said that Sánchez's statement on Tuesday night was motivated by a search for a "stable, solid and strong" government to lead Spain, in which she believes that there will be Catalan Socialist ministers, because Sánchez has always included Catalonia, she assured.