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Spain's FM accuses Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont of 'trickery'

It's a shocking way to treat their own parliament: Spain's Foreign Minister

AFP | PTI  |  Paris 

: People with Catalan flags gather during a rally in Barcelona, Spain | Photo: AP | PTI

Spain's Foreign Minister today accused leader of "trickery" after he suspended his declaration of independence, warning that his actions would trigger economic and social unrest.

Puigdemont's dramatic address to the regional parliament in Barcelona on Tuesday "was frankly trickery, once more, their ruses in order to have things both ways," Alfonso Dastis told French radio 1.

"He's doing what he's always done, going down a path that will lead to situations we don't want to see in in terms of economic and social clashes," Dastis said.

"He says they won, presume they have the right to independence after the result of this so-called referendum (on October 1), then asks (Catalan) parliament to suspend the effects of this declaration," he said.

"It's a shocking way to treat their own parliament."

After Puigdemont suspended his independence declaration, he called for dialogue with Spain's government, which held crisis talks on Wednesday.

Prime Minister has taken a hard line, vowing to use everything in his power to prevent independence and refusing to rule out imposing direct rule over the semi-autonomous region, which borders

Dastis said Madrid has "always said that there are things that can be negotiated within the framework of the constitution."

However, he added, "deciding for all (of Spain) is frankly impossible."

Meanwhile, Spain's ambassador to France, Fernando Carderera, told French radio RTL that Puigdemont's announcement was tantamount to a "coup d'etat (except that) you don't have scenes of people going into parliament with guns."

As for the suspended independence declaration, Carderera said: "You can't suspend something that doesn't exist.

"Independence is like being pregnant, either you are or you aren't."

has been outspoken in its support of the Madrid government during the crisis, with President Emmanuel Macron charging Tuesday that the separatists were motivated in part by "economic selfishness".

His European Affairs Minister, Nathalie Loiseau, said an independent would not enjoy recognition and reiterated Brussels' warning that it would "automatically" be out of the EU.

First Published: Wed, October 11 2017. 16:45 IST