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Spain's Rajoy rejects mediation over Catalonia crisis

Spanish PM, says there is no mediation possible between democratic law and disobedience, illegality

Agence France-Presse  |  Madrid 

Mariano Rajoy, Spain, PM
Mariano Rajoy

Prime Minister on Wednesday rejected any mediation to resolve the crisis over Catalonia’s independence push. “There is no mediation possible between democratic law and disobedience, illegality,” he told parliament.

Catalonia’s separatist leaders on Tuesday signed an independence declaration but said they were suspending it in the hope Madrid would negotiate.
Rajoy also dismissed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont’s independence plan as a “fairy tale”. “It is not peaceful, it is not free, it will not be recognised by Europe and now everyone knows it will have costs,” he added.

He was referring to several big companies which have moved their headquarters outside of Catalonia in recent days.

Puigdemont has repeatedly called for mediation since he pushed ahead on October 1 with an independence referendum in Catalonia that was deemed illegal by Madrid and the courts.

Earlier on Wednesday he proposed during an interview with CNN that a mediator be named to settle the crisis.

“Maybe, it could help (us) to talk if two people representing the government and two people representing the Catalan government just simply agree on one thing, for instance, naming a mediator,” he said. He announced in the regional parliament yesterday that he had accepted the mandate for “Catalonia to become an independent state” following the contested referendum. 

The urged “full respect of the constitutional order,” with European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis saying the bloc was following developments “closely”.

Crowds of thousands gathered outside the parliament building in Barcelona on Tuesday ahead of Puigdemont's speech, waving Catalan flags and banners and screaming “democracy” in the hope of witnessing history in the making. But reaction among separatists in Catalonia was mixed.

First Published: Thu, October 12 2017. 02:12 IST