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Spanish president and opposition leader will respond to any ‘challenge’ from Catalonia

Mariano Rajoy and Pedro Sánchez agree to continue monitoring country’s finances

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15 May 2018 01:01 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The two main Spanish parties expressed unity against any step towards towards independence that Quim Torra’s future cabinet might take. After a 50-minute meeting on Tuesday morning, president Rajoy and the leader of the Socialist opposition party (PSOE), Pedro Sánchez, agreed to respond to any “challenge” coming from the new Catalan government. In a joint statement, they said that economic monitoring over administration in Catalonia will continue.

The Spanish government explained later on that the financial monitoring on Catalonia will be reduced once the new government takes office to a monthly monitoring of expenses and debt control. 

Rajoy and Sánchez also warned Torra’s new government they will react to “any attempt” to set up alternative structures to the “only valid” ones. In his investiture speech on Monday, newly elected Catalan president Quim Torra said that he is committed to independence and pledged to create an organization called European Free Space, including a so-called Council for the Republic. The implementation of a new assembly of elected members was also mentioned by Torra in his swearing-in speech, also not in the Spanish framework.

Rajoy and Sánchez also jointly criticized Quim Torra, accusing him of giving “frontist” speeches in Parliament in the two debates held. The unionist parties also accused Torra of having made “xenophobic” statements in the past, taking on old tweets and articles in which he criticized Spaniards.

In their statement, both Spanish leaders also sent a message of “serenity, firmness in the defense of the civil harmony, the legality, the Spanish Constitution, the national sovereignty and the unity of Spain.” Rajoy will meet the leader of the also strongly unionist party Ciutadans (Cs) on Thursday.

 

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  • The Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, with the leader of the Socialist opposition, Pedro Sánchez, on May 15, 2018 (by Spanish government)

  • The Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, with the leader of the Socialist opposition, Pedro Sánchez, on May 15, 2018 (by Spanish government)

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