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?

Rajoy’s answer to Catalonia: referendum negotiation “impossible”

Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, needed less than 24 hours to reject his Catalan counterpart’s petition to start discussions for the celebration of an independence referendum. “It is impossible,” Rajoy warned Carles Puigdemont, urging him to present his petition before the Spanish Congress instead. “It is not possible to seek to negotiate against the true democratic mechanisms and against the law,” added the Spanish President. Despite saying that he has a “total and sincere” willingness to “reach agreements” with Catalonia, Rajoy pointed out there are “limits” on the issues he can discuss. “Neither you nor I have the authority to negotiate what we do not have the power to negotiate,” he insisted, adding that doing so would “mean hijacking the rights of the Spanish people”. Rajoy said that the Spanish rule of law “foresees mechanisms for presenting all kinds of political aspirations” if they follow “democratic channels” and “obtain the required parliamentary support”. The Spanish President also warned Puigdemont that his plans to go ahead with a vote or even a hypothetical declaration of independence are “a serious threat to coexistence and the constitutional order”.

SHARE

25 May 2017 01:22 PM

by

ACN

Madrid (ACN).- Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, needed less than 24 hours to reject his Catalan counterpart’s petition to start discussions for the celebration of an independence referendum. “It is impossible,” Rajoy warned Carles Puigdemont, urging him to present his petition before the Spanish Congress instead. “It is not possible to seek to negotiate against the true democratic mechanisms and against the law,” added the Spanish President. Despite saying that he has a “total and sincere” willingness to “reach agreements” with Catalonia, Rajoy pointed out there are “limits” on the issues he can discuss. “Neither you nor I have the authority to negotiate what we do not have the power to negotiate,” he insisted, adding that doing so would “mean hijacking the rights of the Spanish people”. 


Rajoy said that the Spanish rule of law “foresees mechanisms for presenting all kinds of political aspirations” if they follow “democratic channels” and “obtain the required parliamentary support”. The Spanish President also warned Puigdemont that his plans to go ahead with a vote or even a hypothetical declaration of independence are “a serious threat to coexistence and the constitutional order”. 

The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, sent a letter on Wednesday to Rajoy to formally seek the start of negotiations for an independence referendum. “As I have told you personally, and publicly said on numerous occasions, the Catalan Government has expressed its utmost willingness to find a political and negotiated solution to the demands of the Catalan people to decide their own future,” read the letter, seen by the CNA. Puigdemont said to Rajoy that they should discuss the “terms and conditions” of an independence vote “as soon as possible” and warned that now is a “decisive moment” for both governments.

But Rajoy has not changed his position by even an inch, completely rejecting any discussions on a referendum and urging Puigdemont to present his proposal in Congress instead. The Catalan President addressed the invitation in his speech in Madrid last week: “Inviting us to Congress only as an international excuse to hide the Spanish government’s lack of political will is a mistake,” said Puigdemont, pointing out that he will only present his initiative to Congress if the Catalans and Spaniards previously reach a political agreement on the terms and conditions of the referendum. Puigdemont said that going to Congress without a prior agreement with the Spanish government would mean to “retrace the steps” followed by the Basque Lehendakari (President) back in 2005 or by a group of Catalan MPs in 2014, both of whom saw their petitions to hold referendums overwhelmingly rejected.

“It would be a failure, and a totally futile one,” Puigdemont said. The political parties in Spain would only be willing to vote favorably on holding a referendum if there is a prior agreement, he suggested. Without one, he added, the Spanish government would be just using the chamber to reject the proposal and not engage in serious discussions about it.

Rajoy accuses Puigdemont of threatening Spain

In his written reply to Puigdemont, the Spanish President said it would be “impossible” to take part in referendum negotiations and described the Catalan President’s plan as a “serious threat” for Spain. Rajoy urged Puigdemont to “return” to political approaches “within the framework of coexistence” and to “respond” to the “real needs of the Catalan citizens”.  “Your proposal is to reach an agreement with your government that would violate the essential core of the Constitution,” he complained.

In comments from Brussels, where he attended the NATO summit, Rajoy warned that “no one will unilaterally liquidate” the Spanish Constitution, Spain’s unity or Spanish sovereignty. “I will not allow it,” he stated, urging the main opposition party, the Socialist PSOE, to work together with his conservative People’s Party in defending “common sense” and the “unity” of Spain. “No leader, no matter how much he believes it, is above the law,” he asserted about Puigdemont.

“In the Catalan Parliament they changed the law so, in one day, and with no chances for those that think differently, they can create a new Constitution and liquidate the unity of a state and its national sovereignty,” he criticized, in reference to the Catalan government's plans. “I would be a bad president if I allowed this,” he added. 

SHARE

  • The leader of the PP, Mariano Rajoy, during his confidence vote in the Spanish Parliament (by ACN)

  • The leader of the PP, Mariano Rajoy, during his confidence vote in the Spanish Parliament (by ACN)