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Rajoy insists he will not negotiate on Catalonia’s self-determination

The Spanish Prime Minister replied on Tuesday to the President of the Catalan Government’s proposal to discuss in a private meeting the question wording, date, and procedure of Catalonia’s self-determination vote. The Financial Times had also urged the Spanish Government to negotiate and make an offer to Catalans, while adding that “the ingredients” for a solution can be found in Catalonia’s question. While Mariano Rajoy answered he was open to meet with Artur Mas, he added he has nothing to negotiate on and nothing new to say. “The [Spanish] Government will not make any concession” regarding Catalonia’s self-determination. In addition, Rajoy insisted the vote “will not take place”. Furthermore, he added that Catalonia will not have a special funding scheme.

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17 December 2013 08:17 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Spanish Prime Minister replied on Tuesday to the President of the Catalan Government’s proposal to discuss in a private meeting the question wording, date, and procedure of Catalonia’s self-determination vote. The Financial Times had also urged the Spanish Government to negotiate and make an offer to Catalans, while adding that in Catalonia’s question wording “the ingredients” for a solution can be found in Catalonia’s question. While Mariano Rajoy answered he was open to meet with Artur Mas, he also added he has nothing to negotiate on and nothing new to say. “The [Spanish] Government will not make any concession” regarding Catalonia’s self-determination. In addition, Rajoy insisted the vote “will not take place”. Furthermore, he added that Catalonia will not have a special funding scheme.


The Spanish PM, Mariano Rajoy, said on Tuesday he is “calm” regarding Catalonia’s recent events. Furthermore, he said he was convinced that the situation “will end well, as it always does”.

“There is nothing to negotiate”, stated the Spanish PM

Spain’s Prime Minister asserted that Catalonia’s self-determination vote “will not take place” and that the government he chairs will not make any “concession” on this issue. Rajoy insisted he had already said everything he had to say on Catalonia’s self-determination last Thursday, a few hours after Catalan parties had announced their agreement. “There is nothing to negotiate” regarding sovereignty, emphasised Rajoy.

In a direct response to the Catalan President’s proposal to discuss self-determination, Rajoy did state he was open to meet with him. However, he insisted that his opinion on the issue would not change. In addition, Rajoy pointed out he has nothing new to say. The Spanish Prime Minister underlined that his stance “is fixed”, and so is the Catalan President’s opinion, he pointed out. According to him, Mas’ has a “fixed” stance because he insists in organising a self-determination vote.

Open to meet with Mas, although Rajoy is not sure about the meeting’s usefulness

Rajoy said he was not sure whether such a meeting, for the moment and under the current circumstances would be useful, as it would not contribute to bring positions closer, he said. However, he stated he was open to meet with Mas.

Despite this, Rajoy criticised Mas for announcing his will to meet in a television interview. “Meetings are not announced, meetings are requested”, stated Rajoy. The Spanish Prime Minister explained that, when the Catalan President will call him, “we will see” how and when the meeting is organised.

Catalonia will not have a specific funding scheme

Besides, the Spanish Prime Minister announced that the Catalan Government would not have a specific funding scheme in the coming years. Many voices were asking Rajoy to make an offer to Catalan citizens in order to convince them to remain within Spain. The Financial Times and the major businesspeople are amongst those advocating this ‘third way’ between independence and the current status quo. In fact, Catalan civil society had massively asked for it two years ago and the Spanish Government ignored them. Furthermore, Catalan Parties held a summit in spring 2012 to propose this 'third way', which was also down-played by the Spanish Government.

This reform should grant the Catalan Government greater fiscal powers and more funds, limiting inter-territorial solidarity, as true federal countries such as Germany do. This formula is known as an “economic agreement” or “fiscal pact”, similar to the “economic agreement” that the Basque Country and Navarra already have. These two Autonomous Communities have their own particular funding schemes, which are radically different from the rest of Spain, since they collect all the taxes and later they pay the Spanish Government an amount for the services and investments it provides.

However, Rajoy, has once again closed the door against allowing such a possibility for Catalonia. In September 2012, the Spanish Prime Minister had already rejected setting a specific fiscal pact for Catalonia when the Catalan President asked for it. This Tuesday, the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, refused once more to grant the Catalan Government a specific funding scheme.

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  • Mariano Rajoy on Thursday, a few hours after Catalan parties had announced an agreement on the self-determination vote (by R. Pi de Cabanyes)

  • Mariano Rajoy on Thursday, a few hours after Catalan parties had announced an agreement on the self-determination vote (by R. Pi de Cabanyes)