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Catalonia accused of planning “coup d’état” by Spanish government

The Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, intensified the tone against Catalonia in the Senate on Tuesday, where he accused the Catalans of planning a “coup d’état”. He blamed Catalonia for wanting to “liquidate” Spanish unity, comparing their conduct with the “worst dictatorships”. Puigdemont’s referendum proposal is “one of the most arbitrary actions the democracy has seen”, he said. Rajoy insisted that currently “Spain is a democracy and a State governed by the rule of law”, which his government “will preserve”. The Spanish President also complained that the Catalan government had changed the Parliament’s Set of Rules and was planning to move forward with the Law on Transitional Jurisprudence “in 24 hours”, “without a debate, without the opposition being able to have its say”. Neus Munté, spokesperson for the Catalan Government and Minister of Presidency, said that the fact that “members of the Spanish government use a harsh term like “coup d’état” is very “unfortunate”. She assured that the Catalan government’s aim is to talk about “speaking with each other”, and therefore it is completely inappropriate to call “such an offer to the President of the Spanish Government a ‘coup d’état’”.

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24 May 2017 02:28 PM

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ACN

Madrid (ACN).- The Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, intensified the tone against Catalonia in the Senate on Tuesday, where he accused the Catalans of planning a “coup d’état”. He blamed Catalonia for wanting to “liquidate” Spanish unity, comparing their conduct with the “worst dictatorships”. Puigdemont’s referendum proposal is “one of the most arbitrary actions the democracy has seen”, he said. Rajoy insisted that currently “Spain is a democracy and a State governed by the rule of law”, which his government “will preserve”.The Spanish President also complained that the Catalan government had changed the Parliament’s Set of Rules and was planning to move forward with the Law on Transitional Jurisprudence “in 24 hours”, “without a debate, without the opposition being able to have its say”. Neus Munté, spokesperson for the Catalan Government and Minister of Presidency, said that the fact that “members of the Spanish government use a harsh term like “coup d’état” is very “unfortunate”. She assured that the Catalan government’s aim is to talk about “speaking with each other”, and therefore it is completely inappropriate to call “such an offer to the President of the Spanish Government a ‘coup d’état’”.


During the government control session in Madrid, and as a response to a question from Mirella Cortès, the Catalan Republican Left ‘ERC’ spokesperson in the Senate, the Spanish president accused ERC’s spokesperson of “avoiding dialogue” because they “prefer to impose rather than to listen”. To this, Cortès replied that the Catalan institutions have proposed legal changes fifteen times in order to make it possible to celebrate a referendum, all with a negative response from the Spanish government. “We will not settle for this,” said Cortès, “The best solution is to put out the ballot boxes and let the people decide. This is what we call democracy,” she continued.

The Catalan Republican Left’s spokesperson warned that neither the Spanish government, the Constitutional Court (TC), nor “any of the mechanisms they apply” will be able to prevent the referendum from taking place. She insisted that the Catalan government is “willing to negotiate” as the formal request on the terms and conditions for the referendum from the Catalan government to the Spanish government shows.

In his response, Spanish president Rajoy insisted that it is necessary “to respect the regulations and the rule of law” and he accused the Catalan government and the pro-independence movements of “overruling the law”. Rajoy again demanded that the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, accept the invitation to appear before Congress to defend the legal changes that would make a referendum possible and to accept the Congress’ rules. Moreover, if the Catalan president agrees to this proposal, Rajoy said he will accept a personal meeting, adding that he hopes Puigdemont “has the bravery, the determination, and the courage to do so”. Puigdemont stressed on Monday that he would only appear before Congress if the Spanish and Catalan governments are able to achieve, first, an agreement on the principle of a referendum.

In any case, Rajoy insisted that neither he nor his executive will accept “extortion” or “threats” of an independence declaration in the event that they do not come to agreement on a referendum. He added that the Law on Transitional Jurisprudence, which has not been officially published, “is the biggest nonsense he has seen through the democracy years”. “I am not willing to talk to someone who, if he doesn't get his way, threatens to use a Law on Transitional Jurisprudence to leave Spain,” he stated. A draft of the law was published this week in a Spanish newspaper, but pro-independence parties denied that was the version they are working on.

A “cynical” proposal

In this same line, the spokesperson of the Spanish government, Iñigo Mendez Vigo, also reacted to Puigdemont’s offer to negotiate a referendum and labeled it as “cynical” saying that “the alternative that Puigdemont has presented is not only anti-constitutional but also a coup d’état”. “An “express” disconnection law that they pretend to pass in 24 hours and whose contents are only known by some secessionists does not only violate the Catalan Statute of Autonomy but also the Spanish Constitution.”, he said. In the same vein, the Delegate of the Spanish Government in Catalonia, Enric Millo, argued that “Spanish democracy cannot be hitchhiked, nor can anyone give ultimatums” and assured that the Spanish government is “prepared to defend democracy by all constitutional means”.

Fernando de Páramo, spokesperson for the Spanish Unionist Ciutadans party in the Catalan Parliament, called the Catalan government's offer to come to an agreement about a referendum \"an attack on democracy, on the law and on common sense\" and was convinced that \"Puigdemont and Junqueras are hoping for an intervention by Guardia Civil forces and the activation of article 155 to promote their role of being the victim”. Article 155 of the Constitution would allow the suspension of the autonomy of Catalonia.  

 

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  • The current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, speaking from the podium of the Spanish Parliament during the last debate on investiture (by ACN)