Mariano Rajoy demands clarity from Carles Puigdemont over Catalan independence

Spanish PM says Madrid could adopt direct rule over Catalunya

LAST UPDATED: 11 Oct, 2017 @ 12:42
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MARIANO Rajoy has accused Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont of causing ‘confusion’ after signing a declaration of independence.

Rajoy demanded Puigdemont clarify if he had declared independence following Tuesday’s address to the Catalan parliament.

The Spanish prime minister said he could trigger Article 155 of Spain’s constitution to allow Madrid to take direct control of Catalunya.

“This call – ahead of any of the measures the government may adopt under Article 155 of our constitution – seeks to offer citizens the clarity and security that a question of such importance requires,” said Rajoy.

“There is an urgent need to put an end to the situation that Catalonia is going through – to return it to safety, tranquillity and calm and to do that as quickly as possible.”.

Earlier, Madrid politicians rejected Puigdemont’s dialogue offer, with one PP MEP branding it a ‘farce’.

Puigdemont had reiterated Catalunya’s right to break from Spain following the referendum, when 90% of 2.4 million Catalans voted to leave.

“We propose to suspend the independence declaration in order to work towards putting into practice the result of the referendum,” said Puigdemont.

“We are making a gesture of responsibility in favour of dialogue.”

He also called for international mediation to address the crisis, after an alarming 900-plus people were injured after heavy-handed police tactics during the October 1 referendum.

But MEP Antonio Lopez-Isturiz white said there was ‘no proof’ Puigdemont wanted dialogue.

“In Spain feelings are always high especially when people have played with sentiments,” he said.

“And in my country it’s very dangerous playing with sentiments.”

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