Spain's highest court just took another step to stymie any push for Catalonia's independence

Spain’s Constitutional Court suspended the Catalan parliament session planned for next Monday during which regional officials were expected to possibly vote on independence.

The parliament session’s suspension is noteworthy because parliament enacts the independence law, according to Bloomberg’s Maria Tadeo, who is based in Madrid.

The opposition Socialist bloc in Catalan’s regional parliament called for Monday’s session to be blocked, according to the AP. The separatist parties have a slim majority in the parliament.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s Esteban Duarte is reporting that “Catalan separatists are trying to find a way to put off a definitive declaration of independence to create space for a negotiated settlement with Spain, according to two people familiar with their plans.”

Duarte reports that the leaders of the separatist movement are “divided over their next step.” Hardliners are reportedly pushing for the Catalan government to continue with their plans for declaring independence, while the regional president’s “mainstream separatist” group worries that would lead to immediate negative economic consequences.

Tensions rose in Spain over the weekend as Catalonia attempted to vote on independence in a referendum that was ruled illegal by Spanish authorities. Spanish police cracked down during the vote over the weekend. According to data from BBC, about 900 people were hurt.

Spain’s Constitutional Court ruled that the referendum violated the country’s constitution because it “does not recognise the right to self-determination and establishes that sovereignty resides with Spanish citizens collectively,” according to the Washington Post.

Catalonia said 2.26 million Catalans voted Sunday and about 90% were in favour of splitting from the rest of the country. The Financial Times reports that the number of people voting and voting for session has been “broadly stable” since 2014, and that a “clear majority” did not endorse secession on Sunday.

Catalonia, which has its own language and culture, is one of Spain’s economic powerhouses. It contributes nearly one-fifth of the country’s total GDP and has an economy larger than that of Portugal.

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