THE Spanish Prime Minister and Catalan President are meeting today in a bid to bridge the gap between Madrid and Barcelona.
Mariano Rajoy and pro-secessionist Catalan President Carles Puigdemont will discuss budget, energy policy and the wealthy region’s persistent demand for an independence referendum.
Rajoy has strongly opposed a Catalan referendum, which has gathered momentum since Scotland was asked if they wanted to leave or remain in the UK.
The pair have also collided over the budget after Rajoy partly blamed Spain
‘s failure to meet its deficit targets on overspending in Catalonia.
More recently, tensions arose when Spain’s Constitutional Court annulled Catalonia’s plan to shield poorer citizens from having their gas or electricity cut in cases of non-payment – citing it overstepped their authority.
Puigdemont said before the meeting: “I don’t think that Catalonia will come back empty-handed.”
But analysts remain skeptical that any initiatives can be started that will bridge the gap between Madrid and Barcelona.