Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Spain's Socialist party agrees with gov't to ask Catalonia to clarify

Spain's Socialist party agrees with gov't to ask Catalonia to clarify

"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. "Some aspects of territorial coexistence must be updated", he said, announcing that he had reached an agreement with Rajoy to reform the Spanish constitution. 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.

"This request, before any measure that the government can implement under Article 155 of our Constitution, aims to offer our citizens the clarity and security that such an issue requires", Rajoy said.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy confirmed in a speech on Wednesday that the Spanish Government may invoke article 155 of the Spanish constitution if independence is declared, which would revoke the autonomy of the Catalan Government.

"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".

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At stake is the future of a region of 7.5 million people, one of Spain's economic powerhouses, whose drive to break away has raised concern for stability in the European Union.

Crisis talks will be held in Spain on Wednesday after Catalan leaders suspended a declaration of independence on Tuesday in favor of dialogue with Madrid.

In a much anticipated address to the Catalan Parliament on Tuesday night, President Puigdemont said: "We call on worldwide states and organisations to recognise the Catalan republic as an independent and sovereign state".

National police were involved in violent scenes as they tried to stop the vote taking place.

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About 90 per cent of participants voted in favour of splitting from Spain in the referendum. Spanish police cracked down on the polls, beating some voters as they closed down polling stations.

European Council President Donald Tusk had urged Puigdemont not to proclaim independence.

But in discussing the controversy now raging over Catalonian independence, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also made clear Tuesday that the administration stood by the president's remarks September 26 that "Spain is a great country and it should be united".

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