Spanish PM rejects any mediation to resolve Catalonia crisis

Oct 09, 2017, 00:25
Spanish PM rejects any mediation to resolve Catalonia crisis

Masses of Catalans gathered in Barcelona this weekend to call for dialog and protest further confrontation with Spain.

Instead, he suggested that "realism" should trump "orthodoxy", arguing that "the most reasonable solution would be to negotiate independence and European Union membership simultaneously". Mariel Müller reports from Barcelona.

The demonstration is scheduled to start at noon in Barcelona's Urquinaona square. The choice of clothing was meant to send a message of peace.

Some European officials are also anxious that any softening in Spain's stance towards Catalan independence could fuel secessionist feelings among other groups in Europe such as Belgium's Flemings and Italy's Lombards.

Rallies are expected in Spain against Catalonian independence, after Sunday's disputed referendum.

The Spanish government will prevent the situation, when the unilateral declaration of independence by the country's northeastern autonomous region of Catalonia would have any outcome, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said, Sputnik reported.

"They must finally sit down with one another and talk, things can not keep on like this", said a man that came to Saturday's protest with his daughter on his shoulders.

Catalonia's separatist leaders have threatened to declare independence after pressing ahead with a banned referendum on secession which they say they won.

At the same time, according to Rahoy, the Spanish authorities do not need any mediation to settle the situation in Catalonia. But on Sunday, a sea of Spanish flags, interspersed with some Catalan and European Union flags, dominated Barcelona's boulevards.

A young woman explains: "This is a people's movement, not one sponsored by a political party".

People walk during a demonstration two days after the banned independence referendum in Barcelona, Spain, October 3, 2017.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais on Saturday Rajoy was asked if he was ready to trigger the article 155 of the constitution, and said: "I don't rule out absolutely anything that is within the law ..." How will his supporters react?

"There is a lot more tension and violence". Those are all questions that the demonstrators are asking.

And while it has long sought independence, the most recent push came after a Spanish court overturned an agreement that gave it more autonomy in 2010 amid a global economic downturn. Already, about a dozen companies, including the biggest symbol of the rebel region's wealth, CaixaBank SA, have said they will or plan to relocate their legal bases.

"We've been very peaceful". "We are the silent majority". There was a 43 percent turnout.

If Puigdemont eventually makes a declaration of independence, it would not be recognized by Madrid or Brussels since it would be illegal under Spanish law, the lecturer pointed out.

Bartomeu explains. It is now pursing a strategy that says, either Catalonia gives in completely or it unilaterally declares independence. Should that scenario come to pass, the Spanish government would then invoke Article 155. Pro-independence protests were attracting large numbers and he benefited politically from a violent crackdown by Spanish police during the referendum voting. "So we have to raise our voices and say loud and clear that we do not want independence".

In terms of worldwide recognition, Catalan authorities are unlikely to have a success, since other countries would be reluctant to sacrifice their relations with Madrid for the sake of Catalonia's independence, Hoegger argued.

To circumvent that ruling the Catalan President will now address the local Parliament on his own on Tuesday. Will Puigdemont back down?

Rajoy says that he will consider employing any measure "allowed by the law" to stop the region's separatists.

Losing Catalonia is nearly unthinkable for the Spanish government.

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