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Rajoy: it’s “impossible” to talk with Catalonia due to “unilateral decisions”

The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy also said that an independent Scotland would be “out of the European Union, the United Nations and all the applicable international treaties for being part of the UK”. Regarding the Catalan Parliament’s bill to formally request the transfer of the powers to organise referendums to the Catalan Executive, based on Article 150.2 of the Constitution, Rajoy has categorically rejected the idea. He stated that his stance on Catalonia’s self-determination “is clear” and “does not include nuances”. In addition, Rajoy said that he is “always open to dialogue” but that “it is impossible to talk” with Catalonia because of “a continuous process of unilateral decisions”. Furthermore, the Deputy Prime Minister insisted that a self-determination vote “cannot take place” and “goes against the Constitution”.

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17 January 2014 07:32 PM

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ACN

Madrid (ACN).- The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, stated on Friday that “it is impossible to talk” with Catalonia because of the “continuous process of unilateral decisions”. Rajoy was actually referring to the Catalan Parliament’s bill, approved on Thursday, which formally requests the Spanish Parliament to transfer the powers to organise referendums to the Catalan Executive, based on Article 150.2 of the Constitution. The Spanish PM accused Catalan authorities of “taking unilateral decisions and not communicating with anyone about them”, as well as of not having “the will to reach any sort of agreement”. In July, the Catalan President sent a formal letter to Rajoy with a 200-page memo attached that detailed 5 different legal ways to hold a self-determination vote in Catalonia, including the use of Article 150.2 of the Constitution to transfer the referendum powers. However, Rajoy did not refer to this communication in the press conference given in Madrid next to the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durao Barroso – who received the Carlos V Prize from Rajoy and the Spanish Crown Prince on Thursday evening. The Spanish PM also stated that an independent Scotland would be “out of the European Union, the United Nations and all the applicable international treaties for being a part of the UK”.


The Spanish PM insisted that that his stance on Catalonia’s self-determination “is clear” and “does not include nuances”. Rajoy then repeated that “sovereignty is rooted and belongs to the whole of the Spanish people, and only the Spanish people can dispose of it”. A few minutes earlier, in a previous press conference, the Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, stressed that Catalonia’s self-determination vote “cannot take place”, as “it does not fit into the Constitution”.

The Spanish Government closes the door to the Catalan Parliament’s petition

Santamaría closed the door to the Catalan Parliament’s petition by saying that “the parties at the Spanish Parliament” had “already expressed their stance” on the issue, which is their opposition to a self-determination vote ever taking place. “As members of the government we cannot and we will not allow actions that go against the Constitution, and the self-determination referendum is clearly one of those”, she highlighted.

A “dialogue” with Catalonia is “impossible”, says Rajoy

The Spanish PM accused Catalan parties promoting self-determination of carrying out “unilateral actions” that make any dialogue “impossible”. Rajoy insisted he is “always open to talk” but that the dialogue with Catalan authorities is “impossible”. “What I see as the Spanish Prime Minister is a continuous unilateral decision-making process”, he stressed. “Unilateral decisions are being taken without communicating with anyone, and neither is there the will to reach any sort of agreement”, Rajoy said. However, the Spanish PM ignored the fact that the Catalan Parliament’s bill was announced several months ago and that, in July, the Catalan President sent a formal letter to Rajoy with a 200-page memo attached that detailed 5 different legal ways to hold a self-determination vote in Catalonia. The memo included the use of Article 150.2 of the Constitution to transfer the referendum powers, which is the main point of the bill approved yesterday by the Catalan Parliament.

Scotland will be “out of the EU and the United Nations”

Besides, Rajoy also took the opportunity to refer to the European Union’s membership and he quoted “a report from the British Government”. The Spanish PM emphasised that an independent Scotland would be “out of the EU, the United Nations, all the applicable international treaties for being part of the United Kingdom”. Furthermore, he added that Scotland would also be out of the Eurozone, and would not have the support of the European Central Bank, “with the consequent impoverishment”. “This is information, not an opinion”, he concluded.

Barroso repeats the “internal matter” message

José Manuel Barroso was asked a similar question and he repeated the same message that the European Commission has been saying over the past few months. This is “an internal matter” for Member States. However, he said he could only talk about EU Law and repeated that if a part of a Member State becomes independent, it also becomes a third state and has to ask for re-admission, which has to be approved by all the Member State through a process requiring unanimity. However, the European Commission has also stated that this is a general principle and that it would only issue specific conclusions on the basis of “a detailed scenario” at the request of the Government of a Member State, something that has not happened and that opens the door to a more nuanced answer. In fact, several experts point out towards a negotiated solution, such as a study published last week by the former Chief of Staff of the French Minister for European Affairs.

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  • Barroso (left) and Rajoy (right) this Friday in Madrid (by R. Pi)

  • Barroso (left) and Rajoy (right) this Friday in Madrid (by R. Pi)