July 18, 2018

Spain wants clarity over Catalonia's independence

12 October 2017, 10:38 | Devin Moran

Spain's PM to give press statement on Catalonia at 1200 CET

Spain’s Nuclear Option on Catalonia Is No Quick Fix for Rajoy

Puigdemont had been widely expected to unilaterally declare Catalonia's independence on Tuesday after the Catalan government said 90 percent of Catalans had voted for a breakaway in an October 1 referendum.

M - Spain is preparing to celebrate its National Day amid a continuing political crisis sparked by Catalonia's disputed independence referendum. We are normal people who are asking to vote, ' he said.

If Puigdemont says he did proclaim independence, the central government will step in.

"The cabinet has agreed this morning to formally request the Catalan government to confirm whether it has declared the independence of Catalonia, regardless of the deliberate confusion created over its implementation", Rajoy said in a televised address after a cabinet meeting called to consider the government's response.

Catalan separatists remain furious at the actions of Spanish national police and Guardia Civil when they sought to disrupt the independence referendum, which saw officers raiding polling stations, beating voters and firing rubber bullets at crowds.

In a first reaction, the Spanish government's Vice President, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, strongly rejected the dialogue offer by the Generalitat and left the doors open to take exceptional measures.

He affirmed Catalans have nothing against Spain, but also said that the relation is unsustainable after years of grievances by their authorities.

Puigdemont said the referendum had given him a mandate for independence but immediately asked regional lawmakers to suspend the declaration to allow for negotiations with the central government.

With tempers running high in the region, closing the Catalan parliament and presumably arresting secessionist leaders risks catapulting the crisis along more violent lines, fear some analysts.

Catalan officials say nearly 90% of voters backed independence with a turnout of 43%.

Catalonia's bid for independence has raised concerns about the stability of the European Union with Brussels urging "full respect of the Spanish constitutional order". "Because the force of arguments is always better than the argument of force". But Sanchez said it would focus on "not leaving Catalonia, but how to stay in Spain".

But he offered a possible exit from further confrontation between Madrid and Barcelona, saying Rajoy had agreed that there should be a six-month commission to examine the possibility of reforming the country's constitution, changing the way the country's autonomous regions are governed.

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