Tough, says the generalitat it’s going ahead anyway.
Trouble is, El País newspaper today reports that no private company wants to help organise the referendum. Conspiracy theorists are muttering about how los madrileños have been leaning on the private sector…..
Only two companies bid for the public tender to supply the urns and voting booths – and both bids have been rejected because of fears over the “solvency” of the companies.
There’s also a fight over who leaked the news to the press. Carles Puigdemont (the firebrand independence minded leader of the regional government) vowed the referendum would go ahead, and promised to buy his own boxes if necessary. He also complained about people leaking the news to the press before his government had its response ready.
For the previous “consultation” of 9-N they used cardboard boxes made by prisoners on social reinsertion schemes (how very progressive!). But this led to accusations of tampering, and all parties involved insist they must be approved see-through sealed boxes, as used in “proper” elections.
Meanwhile, the two politicians who ordered the public tender for the urns may be prosecuted after the Supreme Court of Catalonia accepted a complaint by the public prosecutor that they were acting in contempt of a Constitutional Court order banning the referendum. (Although the minister involved has already asked for the investigation to be suspended, arguing that since no tender went ahead no contempt of court had been committed. This should lead to an interesting legal argument upon the difference of intent and practice.)
Which is one reason why no serious company dared touch the referendum – they’d be hounded out of Spain if they did. Or what will be left of it by the end of the year….
Anyway, to prevent further comments, a “high placed source” suggested that the actual purchase / tender order may well be signed by the entire governing Catalan council of ministers. So any attempt to prosecute would mean arresting the entire Catalan government. Will Madrid go that far?