During the last decade the separatist activities of the Catalan nationalists have intensified. Despite the enactment of the Statute of Autonomy in 2006, extending the existing autonomy of the Autonomous Community, Catalonia’s governing political parties strived for total independence. In view of the consistent attitude of the central government in Madrid refusing any concessions on the extension of autonomy or independence, the Autonomous Government of Catalonia (Generalitat) appealed to the institutions of direct democracy, calling twice for a Catalan referendum on independence. In both cases, the Spanish Constitutional Court declared the referendum unlawful. In spite of this, Catalonia declared independence after the referendum of October 1st, 2017, although the effects of the declaration were also suspended – a situation so far unknown to law.