Catalan president rejects Spanish budget yet again over independence referendum refusal
Quim Torra takes on Pedro Sánchez: "We haven’t seen him advance even one millimeter"
Catalan president Quim Torra has restated that pro-independence parties will not back the Spanish government’s budget for 2019, arguing that Madrid made "no movement" to meet their demands and accept a self-determination referendum.
"As far as allowing Catalonia to exercise its right to self-determination, we haven’t seen [Spanish president Pedro Sánchez] advance even one millimeter," said Torra in an interview with the Associated Press (AP).
The general budget will most certainly fall short of the supports needed to be approved in the Spanish Congress should pro-independence parties reject the bill, thus dealing a hard blow to the central government.
Sánchez and his Socialist party came to power last spring after ousting the conservatives from power in a no-confidence vote backed by pro-independence parties.
"We only gave Sánchez a blank check in the no-confidence motion and his forming of a government"
Quim Torra · Catalan president
"We only gave Sánchez a blank check in the no-confidence motion and his forming of a government," said Torra.
The alliance between governments in Catalonia and Madrid has proven difficult ever since, as the latter rejected negotiating an independence referendum, which the Spanish Constitutional Court ruled as illegal.
With former members of the Catalan government and other independence leaders jailed for organizing a referendum back in 2017, their trial is set to heat tensions even further up.
"They will mount an excellent defense, but seeing how the judiciary has acted until now our hope is very close to zero," said Torra, who came to power while promising to reinstitute the previous government, including president Carles Puigdemont.