Spain gives Catalan leader 5 days to clarify independence
October 11 2017 07:05 PM
Mariano Rajoy
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy looks on as he speaks at the Spanish Parliament in Madrid on Wednesday.


The Spanish government has given Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont five days to say whether he declared independence or not, Spanish news agency Efe said on Wednesday.
If Puigdemont was to confirm he did declare independence, he would be given an additional three days to rectify. Failing this, Article 155 of the constitution, which allows the central government to suspend a region's political autonomy and rule it directly, would be triggered.
Earlier, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy 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 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 Spanish 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 Spanish government and two people representing the Catalan government just simply agree on one thing, for instance, naming a mediator," he said.
Puigdemont announced in the regional parliament on Tuesday that he had accepted the mandate for "Catalonia to become an independent state" following the contested referendum.

Last updated: October 11 2017 07:34 PM

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