Rajoy promises measures on Catalonia after deadline expires

Spanish govt to halt suspension of Catalan self-rule if Puigdemont calls snap elections

Mariano Rajoy entering the Spanish Congress this Wednesday (by Tània Tapia)
Mariano Rajoy entering the Spanish Congress this Wednesday (by Tània Tapia) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 18, 2017 01:03 PM

Mariano Rajoy might take serious measures on Catalonia soon. The Spanish president urged his counterpart, Carles Puigdemont, to answer his official request before the ultimatum expires on Thursday. Otherwise he will “take decisions that it would undoubtedly be better not to ever take,” he said in the Spanish Congress on Wednesday referring to the suspension of Catalonia’s self-government.

However, he also said that the Spanish government would not enforce Article 155 if Puigdemont calls snap elections in Catalonia, ACN learned. Yet the Catalan foreign minister has already said that snap elections are not in the executive's plans. 

Rajoy sent a letter to Puigdemont last week asking the latter to clarify if he had declared independence in a speech on October 10. The Catalan president’s answer was to ask for dialogue and a meeting. Now a final deadline for him to “rectify his position” and deny that independence was declared is getting near: it expires on Thursday at 10am.  

Catalan government position

The Spanish leader asked the Catalan president to “act with sense and balance” by answering the question. The executive in Barcelona said that despite the new ultimatum, its position will remain the same: an offer to Madrid of a two-month period to sit at the negotiating table. Otherwise, full-fledged independence might be declared.