NOTE! This site uses cookies

By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more detalis, see Read more

Accept

What are you looking for?

Spanish PM admits that Catalonia's self-determination is not affecting the economy

Mariano Rajoy, Spain's Prime Minister, admitted that he "does not know what will happen on the 9th of November", the day on which a majority of Catalan parties agreed upon for holding a self-determination vote, which goes against the Spanish Government's will. However, Rajoy immediately added that the Catalan President, Artur Mas, told him that "he will not be doing anything illegal", in their Wednesday meeting. The Spanish establishment considers such a vote to be illegal while a few constitutional experts say that such a vote could take place if there was the political will to authorise it. A two-third majority of the Catalan Parliament is determined to use Catalonia's legal framework to call a legal vote. Besides, in the press conference held on the Friday before his holidays, Rajoy also admitted that the self-determination debate is not affecting the economy. However, he added that any step generating "uncertainty or doubts" will "not help" the economic recovery.

SHARE

01 August 2014 09:11 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Mariano Rajoy, Spain's Prime Minister, also admitted that he "does not know what will happen on the 9th of November", the day on which a majority of Catalan parties agreed upon for holding a self-determination vote, which goes against the Spanish Government's will. However, Rajoy immediately added that the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, told him that "he will not be doing anything illegal" in the meeting they both had on Wednesday. The Spanish establishment considers such a vote to be illegal while a few constitutional experts say that such a vote could take place if there was the political will to authorise it. A two-third majority of the Catalan Parliament, including the Catalan Executive, is determined to use Catalonia's legal framework to call a legal vote. Besides, in the press conference held on Friday, just before his holidays, Rajoy also admitted that the self-determination debate is not affecting the economy. However, he added that any step generating "uncertainty or doubts" will "not help" the economic recovery.


On Friday, the Spanish PM, Mariano Rajoy, held the press conference he traditionally conducts before leaving for his summer holidays. Among many issues, Catalonia's self-determination process and his recent meeting with the Catalan President, Artur Mas, were some of the event's highlights. On Wednesday, he met with Mas and they talked about Catalonia's self-determination vote, as well as 23 other points that were not directly related to this issue, such as the funding of the Catalan Government and basic public services in Catalonia, the Education Reform that will damage the Catalan language and the construction of pending infrastructure. After the meeting on Wednesday, the Catalan President conducted a long press conference, which lasted an hour-and-a-half, while Rajoy did not talk and only issued a press release.

Mas highlighted four main messages: firstly, that the dialogue between the two of them was "open"; secondly, that there are 23 other issues that should be addressed before the end of the year besides self-determination; thirdly, that a majority of the Catalan Parliament – following a clear electoral mandate – is determined to grant Catalans the possibility to vote on their collective future; and, finally, that the Spanish Government continues to consider such a vote "illegal" and that it is not ready to put any alternative on the table to solve the political conflict with Catalonia, besides repeating that a self-determination vote cannot take place. Therefore, this Friday press conference was the first time that Rajoy spoke directly about the Catalan issue after having met with Mas on Wednesday.

Rajoy: "Honestly, I don't know what will happen on the 9th of November"

Mariano Rajoy firstly stressed that the conversation with the Catalan President had been "polite and respectful". He went on to say that when Mas brought the self-determination vote into the talk, he "reminded him" of his "well-known stance" on the issue. "The President of the [Spanish] Government has the obligation to follow the law; the proposed referendum is illegal and is very damaging for all Spaniards", he added. However, he did not want to speculate about what will happen on the day that a majority of Catalan parties have agreed to hold the self-determination vote. "Honestly, I don't know what will happen on the 9th of November. I only know that Mas told me that he won't be doing anything illegal. And this is a very reasonable decision. I hope this will be what will happen", Rajoy stated. The Spanish PM said he does not want to even think about any other scenario for autumn.

Rajoy was also asked about whether Catalonia's self-determination debate was damaging the economy. He said that "in the middle of the [economic] recovery" from the crisis, "it is very important that people have security and certainties, in the economy and in politics". In this vein, he added that "anything which generates uncertainties and insecurities is not good for anything". "In this moment Spain is [perceived] as more trustworthy abroad. However, if we have a debate such as the one we are having, which is not influencing [the economy] for the moment, it is clear that it does not help", he emphasised. Therefore, he admitted that, until the present day, Catalonia's self-determination debate has not affected the economy. On top of this, Rajoy wanted to stress that "the unity of Spain is not in danger".

The Spanish PM "is studying" Mas' 23-point document

Besides, Rajoy also referred to the 23 issues presented by Mas in a document that were not directly related to the self-determination debate and vote. The Spanish PM said he "is studying" the issues and he recognised that "they are issues that worry people, which is what we have to talk about". Some of the issues included are university grants, pending railway and road infrastructure, active employment policies and the new education reform. "I am committed to working in this way. We will take into consideration Catalonia's document, as we do with many other places, to the extent that budget conditions allow us", he concluded.

SHARE

  • The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, in the press conference held before the summer break (by Moncloa)

  • The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, in the press conference held before the summer break (by Moncloa)