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Spain marks national day amid Catalonia crisis

12 October 2017, 10:38 | Taylor George

Spain sets clock ticking on Catalan independence row

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Eyes will be focused on the regional Catalan parliament Tuesday when the region's president, Carles Puigdemont, speaks about the current political impasse.

To get there would require pressure from Spain's European Union partners, said Ross, who advised the Catalan government from July 2013 to September 2015 and is a committed advocate of self-determination.

The leader of the opposition Socialist party, Pedro Sanchez, has called on Mr Puigdemont to "stop everything" as he threatens to formally declare independence. Failing this, Article 155 would be triggered.

If independence had been declared, said Sánchez, then the PSOE would back the actions of the Spanish government.

Catalonia is once again interested in holding talks, because we strongly believe that present conflict can be resolved, Puigdemont said, after regretting that both in the past and in the present they will not find out interlocutors to their sovereign claims.

"Either way, Rajoy's aim would be to first restore the rule of law in Catalonia and this could at some point lead to early elections in the region". Most of the region's unionists boycotted the 1 October referendum, which was banned by Madrid and marred by a violent police crackdown.

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Neither Mr. Puigdemont nor anybody else can impose, without returning to legality and democracy, a mediation, since dialogue between democrats is done within the law, as affirmed by Saenz de Santamaria.

"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.

Issuing a veiled threat, Rajoy stated that the clarification was needed to invoke article 155 of the Spanish constitution that would allow Spain to intervene and take control of some or all of Catalonia's regional powers.

Puigdemont's speech also disappointed supporters of independence, thousands of whom watched proceedings on giant screens outside parliament before sadly leaving for home.

Spanish borrowing costs fell to a one-week low and the main share index touched a week high.

The Catalan crisis has deeply divided the region itself as well as the Spanish nation. They appear to be putting their hopes on worldwide mediation and have pressed European leaders to intervene, something Paris, Berlin and Brussels have said they will not do. Opinion polls conducted before the vote suggested a minority of about 40 percent of residents in Catalonia backed independence. A stream of Catalonia-based firms and banks have moved their legal bases outside the region.



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