22:38 GMT +319 January 2020
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    Spain’s judicial system is being more and more politicized in an attempt to suppress Catalonia’s aspirations to hold an independence vote in 2017, Catalan Foreign Minister Raul Romeva said on Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the Constitutional Court of Spain suspended Catalonia’s regional parliament resolution calling for an independence referendum in 2017. The resolution was suspended for the response time to review the protest of the Spanish government, which considers the resolution to be unconstitutional.

    Catalonia, a Spanish province with autonomous status, has long sought independence from Spain, but Madrid has repeatedly declined Catalonia’s quest for independence.

    "The judicial system is being politicized more and more day by day…. It shows there is a really worrying lack of separation of powers between the politicians and the judiciary in Spain. The demand for independence is political, so let us talk about this politically, not judicially. Judicialising politics is not the answer, and will not produce a solution. It will only make the conflict worse and worse," Romeva was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

    He stressed that the referendum on independence would be held in any case, with or without the approval of Madrid.

    "The choice is referendum or referendum. Obviously we would prefer the vote to take place with the cooperation of the Spanish government, as happened with Scottish independence, but if that is not possible the referendum will happen and will be binding on the Catalan people," Romeva said.

    On November 9, 2014, about 80 percent of the Catalans who took part in the non-binding referendum on the region's status as part of Spain voted in favor of Catalonia becoming an independent state. Madrid declared the referendum unconstitutional.

    In late September, President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont pledged to work for an agreement on independence from Spain. Shortly afterwards, the Catalan parliament voted in favor of two resolutions which called on the regional government to hold the independence referendum in fall 2017, as well as to coordinate its conduct with the central Spanish authorities.

    According to latest polls, the number of independence advocates and its opponents is almost similar, with 45.1 percent of Catalans supporting secession and 44.9 percent seeking for Catalonia to remain an autonomous region within Spain.

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