Monday, 11 December, 2017

Put the brakes on Catalan independence

Europe:Madrid stock market jumps at open Catalonia Suspends Declaration of Independence for Talks with Madrid
Howard Terry | 12 October, 2017, 00:51

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy stepped up pressure on Catalonia's secessionist government to back away from independence, starting the formal process that could lead to the assertion of direct control from Madrid.

The ultimatum comes with a deadline: Catalonia has five days for the first demand, and another three days for the second, Reuters reports. Puigdemont has repeatedly called for mediation since he pushed ahead on October 1 with an independence referendum in Catalonia that was deemed illegal by Madrid and the Spanish courts.

Catalan regional president Puigdemont says the October 1 referendum - in which a majority of those who voted were in favor of separating from Spain, but the turnout was only 42 percent of the region's electorate - gave him the mandate to carry out the separation.

National police were involved in violent scenes as they tried to stop the vote taking place.

For some of his supporters, it was close enough to count. "My arrest would be unjustified and a mistake; this is not the moment to send people with whom you have political discrepancies to prison."Puigdemont said it was an important time for both sides to enter into dialogue."We are at a point where the most important thing that there is no previous condition to sit down and talk, to accept that we have to talk, we need to talk in the right conditions", he said". "He was frustrated with what he heard last night". "He's just walking in circles", JuliĆ” told Frayer.

"This request, before any measure that the government can implement under Article 155 of our Constitution, aims to offer our citizens the clarity and security that such an issue requires", Rajoy said.

Tusk said, "A few days ago, I asked [Spain's] Prime Minister [Mariano] Rajoy to look for a solution to the problem without the use of force".

Spain's main opposition party, the Socialist party, agreed with the ruling People's Party that the Catalan regional government has to clarify whether there was a declaration of independence or not, the Socialist's leader Pedro Sanchez said on Wednesday.

"Puigdemont himself could face charges of rebellion", Frayer explains.

Rajoy has to make up the political ground and start engaging in negotiations with Catalonia.

Catalonia is relatively wealthy, and the loss of the region would be a blow to the Spanish economy.

Following his declaration to parliament, Puigdemont and his allies signed an independence declaration outside the chamber, but its legal validity was unclear.

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