Spanish PM Rules Out Mediation Despite Mounted Pressure for Dialogues

Spain flag in Santander Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Spain flag in Santander Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Spanish Prime Minister Marian Rajoy has ruled out any mediation effort to resolve the Catalan crisis.

Mr. Rajoy demanded that the Catalan independence referendum held on October 1st will have no effect.

He again warned that his government is not ruling out the possibility of suspending the autonomy of Catalonia.

He told this in an interview with El Pais newspaper in a time when tens of thousands of people are demanding dialogues to resolve the political deadlock that plagued the country in a worst possible way since the beginning of October.

Tens of thousands of people in Madrid and Barcelona took to the street for the unity of Spain. They demanded dialogues and called for the political leaders to step down if they cannot let go of their ego to talk.

The Referendum that Divided Spain

The demonstrations yesterday followed the Catalan referendum that unprecedentedly divided Spaniards in general.

The Catalan independence referendum, however, began in a chaotic fashion. Thousands of police deployed all over Catalonia attempted to stop the referendum from taking place.

The Spanish police eventually engaged in clashes with the separatists in various places. The central government of Spain pledged to prevent the vote from taking place.

Around 900 Catalans and 33 police officers were injured as the police engaged in clashes with the voters to enforce the Spanish constitutional court’s ban on the referendum.

“The government will ensure that any declaration of independence will lead to nothing,” Rajoy told in the interview with El Pais.

In spite of the Spanish government’s efforts to halt the referendum, 2.2 million people voted in the referendum with 42% turn out. The regional government of Catalonia said 90% of the voters voted in favor of independence.

The Catalan President Carles Puigdemont told the press right after the vote was counted that the Catalonia has earned the right to statehood through the referendum.

The Spanish PM’s Hardline

“The government will ensure that any declaration of independence will lead to nothing,” Rajoy told in the interview with El Pais.

El Pais asked him if he ready to invoke Article 155 of Spain’s constitution which allows the central government to intervene in the autonomous region. Mr. Rajoy responded, “I don’t rule out absolutely anything that is within the law.”

Many of the protesters shouted slogan “Talk or Resign” in Barcelona’s Jaume Square.

Earlier on 6 October, Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy demanded the “president of the Generalitat to end once and for all with the intention of making a unilateral declaration of independence and fulfilling, as all citizens do, with the law. That’s what society is asking for and it would avoid greater evils.”

“The government knows perfectly well what it will do at any stage; it will always act in favor of the general interest and at the most appropriate time. The Unity of Spain is not negotiated.”

Pressure for Dialogues Mounts

Amid the Catalonia’s threat to secede, tens of thousands of people, many of whom were dressed in white, demanded talks to de-escalate the tension between Barcelona and Madrid.

The Spanish capital Madrid braced for rallies where thousands of people held slogan “Shall We Talk?” to defuse the worst ever political deadlock that has plagued the country. Many of the protesters shouted slogan “Talk or Resign” in Barcelona’s Jaume Square.


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