SPANISH Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will continue to stand firm against Catalan independence claims despite Sunday’s regional election result.
The PP leader, whose party lost 128,700 votes and eight seats, now faces a general election at the end of the year.
Arthur Mas’s Junts pel Si won 62 of Catalunya’s 135 regional seats with fellow pro-independent group CUP securing ten.
Rajoy’s party now commands only 11 seats in the region after one of their poorest election performances.
Rajoy said:”I am ready to listen and to talk, but not in any way to liquidate the law.
“I am not going to talk about either the unity of Spain, or sovereignty.
“The pretensions of some were and remain outside of the law, and now it has been shown that they don’t have the support of the majority of people”
Rajoy believes the fact that Junts pel Sui and the CUP polled only 47.8% of the vote does not give them a mandate for secession.
PP spokesman Pablo Casado said: “We are going to continue to guarantee legality, we are going to keep defending the unity of Spain, and telling Spaniards to rest assured that the government continues to guarantee the rule of law and democracy in Spain.
“Evidently, in Catalonia everything remains the same.”