Rajoy rejects Puigdemont’s proposal: “Mediation is not possible between the law and disobedience”
ELNACIONAL.CAT – PSOE spokesperson took up Puigdemont’s proposal, suggesting a “dialogue project” which needs no more mediators than the deputies themselves
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has rejected the proposal for dialogue made yesterday by Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, on the same day that he started on the path to applying article 155 of the Spanish Constitution which would revoke Catalan autonomy. The first step towards that was sending a requirement to the Catalan leader to clarify whether his government has declared a new republic or not. Rajoy has been rebuked for his response by a number of parties this afternoon in the Spanish Congress, but concluded that there is no “mediation possible between the democratic law and disobedience”, putting the ball back in the Catalan court.
“It’s Puigdemont’s response which will mark the coming days. I hope he gets his answer right”, said the Spanish leader to his Catalan counterpart about the requirement he sent Puigdemont this morning. Rajoy then claimed the Catalan government has not previously wanted dialogue: he cited the unofficial 2014 independence referendum and the 2015 Catalan elections which were seen as a plebiscite on independence. He also claimed that the result of the 1st October referendum was “written beforehand”.
Rajoy gave the independence project up for dead, but raised the possibility of constitutional reform he had agreed with PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) leader Pedro Sánchez in return for support with article 155. PSOE spokesperson Margarita Robles took up Puigdemont’s proposal, suggesting a “dialogue project” which needs no more mediators than the deputies themselves, “representatives of the national sovereignty”. This could be realised in the state modernisation commission of the autonomous communities, which Robles invited Puigdemont to direct the conflict to.
The leader of Podemos (We Can), Pablo Iglesias, on the other hand, repeated the offer to mediate that he made to Rajoy some weeks ago. He noted that the Catalan government suspended the full declaration of independence after the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, made a last minute call to the effect. “Yesterday Puigdemont stopped listening to [previous Catalan president Artur] Mas and listened to Tusk. You should do the same,” he urged. Xavier Domènech, leader of En Comú (In Common) then repeated requests for a referendum under negotiated terms. “They say they won’t negotiate the right to decide and with that they’re putting limits on dialogue,” he said.
From Ciudadanos (Citizens), meanwhile, Albert Rivera, rejected the proposal of dialogue with Puigdemont and said that the independence conflict and an alleged “problem of coexistence” with Catalonia would be solved by “stopping the coup, heading to elections and reforming the Constitution with a new partner”. He celebrated the fact that the Spanish government has “decided to defend” the Constitution through article 155. According to Rivera, the measure would stop “the greatest attack against the democracy since the [attempted coup d’état] of 23rd February ”.