Spain's Socialist party agrees with gov't to ask Catalonia to clarify

12 October, 2017, 01:04 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • Catalonia Independence referendum violence

This formal requirement is needed to trigger the article 155 though the Constitution does not establish any specific time frame for the answer. Catalonian President Carles Fulgedemont subsequently hinted he would unveil an American-style declaration of independence, but on Tuesday backed down and instead endorsed negotiations. However, he added, the region would suspend the process of declaring independence in a bid to establish a constructive dialogue with Madrid. Puigdemont announced in the regional parliament on Tuesday that he had accepted the mandate for "Catalonia to become an independent state" following the contested referendum.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy confirmed in a speech on Wednesday that the Spanish Government may invoke article 155 of the Spanish constitution if independence is declared, which would revoke the autonomy of the Catalan Government.

"I propose suspending the effects of the declaration of independence to undertake talks in the coming weeks without which it is not possible to reach an agreed solution", he told MPs.

He said the "people's will" was to break away from Madrid, but he also said he wanted to "de-escalate" the tension around the issue.

The government stuck to its stance said that it would not accept mediation or any talks until Catalan leaders drop their Independence bid.

Mr Rajoy has vowed to use everything in his power to prevent independence and has refused to rule out imposing direct rule over the semi-autonomous region - an unprecedented move many fear could lead to unrest.

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Spain has been in turmoil since a disputed referendum in Catalonia on October 1 was declared invalid by the country's Constitutional Court.

Spanish deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said the Catalan leader "doesn't know where he is, where he is going and with whom he wants to go".

"Dialogue between democrats takes place within the law, respects the rules of the game and doesn't make them up as it goes along".

Rajoy said that he was asking for clarification from President Puigdemont, who he accused of creating "deliberate confusion". Spanish police cracked down on the polls, beating some voters as they closed down polling stations.

Catalonia's separatist camp has grown in recent years, strengthened by Spain's recent economic crisis and by Madrid's rejection of attempts to increase self-rule in the region.

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