Madrid Asks Catalonia to Explain Whether It Has Declared Independence

Bruno Cirelli
Ottobre 12, 2017

If he says he did not declare independence, the far-left party CUP would likely withdraw their support to Puigdemont's government. "The rule of law remains in force with all its strength". It has its own language, parliament, flag and anthem.

Rajoy called an emergency meeting after Catalonia's president Carles Puigdemont announced on Tuesday that he had accepted the mandate for "Catalonia to become an independent state" following the October 1 referendum.

The motion comes in the wake of the controversial referendum, which was branded "illegal" by the government in Madrid.

Asked by CNN why he had not pushed for independence immediately on Tuesday, Puigdemont responded: "In the first place because of a sense of responsibility".

"Neither Mr Puigdemont nor anyone else can claim, without returning to legality and democracy, to impose mediation".

Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria described Puigdemont as someone "who does not know where he is, where he's going".

Invoking Article 155 to ease Spain's worst political crisis in four decades would make prospects of a negotiated solution even more remote. It is expected that once Catalonia's political autonomy is cut off, the prime minister will call for a snap election to change the current Catalan government.

"We have given up absolutely nothing.We have taken a time out.which doesn't mean a step backwards, or a renunciation or anything like that", Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turull told Catalunya Radio.

"We have always defended that our best way to defend the constitution is to reform it". Outside, thousands of people had gathered to watch the speech on big screens set up near a park.

October 4: Towards an independence declaration?

The Spanish capital's benchmark IBEX 35 index of top companies rallied 1.57 per cent to 10,301.50 points shortly after the open. The rally propelled the main world stocks index, the MSCI's 47-country "All-World" index, to a record high.

The drive to break Catalonia away from Spain has raised concern for stability in a European Union still coming to terms with Britain's shock decision to leave the bloc.

One EU official said Puigdemont "seems to have listened to advice not to do something irreversible".

Puigdemont demands the withdrawal of national police from Catalonia and calls for worldwide mediation. It considers Catalan separatism an internal Spanish matter.

Puigdemont's proposal to suspend the declaration of independence to allow for negotiations pulled the region back from the brink of an unprecedented showdown with Madrid but drew criticism from both the Spanish government and the leader of the opposition in the Catalan Parliament.

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