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Rajoy opens the door to suspending Catalonia’s self-rule

Spanish president asks Puigdemont to clarify if he declared the independence

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11 October 2017 01:42 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Spanish president Mariano Rajoy formally required Carles Puigdemont to clarify whether he declared the independence of Catalonia when he addressed the parliament on Tuesday. Therefore, Rajoy is paving the way for suspending the region’s self-rule, as foreseen in the article 155 of the Spanish Constitution.

Puigdemont’s response “will determine future events in the coming days,” Rajoy warned. “If Mr. Puigdemont stresses his will to respect the legality and re-establish the institutional normality, this would put an end to a period of instability, tensions and breach of coexistence,” he said.

  • “If Mr. Puigdemont stresses his will to respect the legality and re-establish the institutional normality, this would put an end to a period of instability, tensions and breach of coexistence”

    Mariano Rajoy · Spanish president

Rajoy did not follow up on Puigdemont’s call for dialogue. The Catalan president stated that the referendum on October 1 had earned his government the right to pursue independence, but suspended its declaration to allow for negotiations with Madrid.

Rajoy spoke after holding an emergency meeting with his ministers to discuss the Spanish government’s response to Puigdemont’s long-awaited speech. All eyes are now again on the Catalan government, although it is not clear yet when will they respond, or whether Rajoy’s requirement comes with a deadline.

More details are expected to be unveiled today at the Spanish Parliament plenary session, starting at 4pm.

Article 155 does not provide a time limit for the Catalan government’s response either. According to the Spanish Constitution, if the Catalan executive fails to comply with Spain’s demands, the government will meet again in order to determine the measures to be taken against the Catalan government.

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  • Spanish president Mariano Rajoy after his cabinet meeting on Wednesday (by Roger Pi de Cabanyes)