Barcelona (ACN).- Answering a question about dialogue and democracy regarding Catalonia and Spain, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy talked about Crimea, where there is a pre-war situation. On Tuesday before the Spanish Senate, Rajoy has once again closed the door to any talks with the Catalan Government to hold a legal and agreed consultation vote, similar to the one scheduled in Scotland. Instead, Spain's PM preferred to use as an example the current situation in Crimea, where the regional parliament has declared independence and organised within 10 days a ratification referendum while pro-Russian troops have occupied the peninsula and a war with the Ukrainian Army could start at any moment. Rajoy highlighted that the international community has appealed to the territorial integrity of states, which is "the Modern" thing to do, he said. He was answering a question from Josep Lluís Cleries, Spokesman and Senator of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which runs the Catalan Government. Cleries asked him "to be brave" and "talk in depth" with the Catalan President as well as with business associations, trade unions and civil society organisations from Catalonia to understand what are the claims shared by a wide majority of Catalans. The CiU Senator insisted that the dialogue should "not exclude any subject", particularly mentioning the self-determination consultation vote.
In his answer to CiU's question at the Senate's plenary, Mariano Rajoy reiterated that the Spanish Government has put in place measures assisting the Autonomous Communities, including Catalonia, such as the Liquidity Fund FLA or the plan to pay providers back in order to reactivate the Spanish and Catalan economies. Rajoy said that those measures are "a loan with great conditions", which the Spanish Government has granted the Catalan Executive because "it is our obligation and because it thinks about the people". "It is a good operation and we will repeat it again as often as necessary", he said.
However, according to Rajoy, his "obligation is to close the door" to the self-determination vote in Catalonia and to "any actions that involve a violation of the Rule of Law". "I care about the citizens of Catalonia because I do not want a Catalonia out of the Euro, out of Europe and out of the international organisations", Rajoy said.
According to the Spanish Prime Minister the events that have taken place in Crimea have shown that "the entire Western world" defends "the respect for territorial integrity of all the states as well as national sovereignty". "This is the modern thing, the world's trend and what is useful to the people's progress", he emphasised.
In this context, Rajoy answered the call for dialogue issued by Josep Lluís Cleries. The Spanish PM said that he "is willing to talk about everything", "but not about liquidation of national sovereignty, which has been in existence for many centuries and the vast majority of Spaniards want it to continue existing in the future".
Catalan Senator to Rajoy: "Be brave and talk about everything"
The CiU's Spokesperson denounced that the Spanish Prime Minister is "only capable of offering" the Catalan President Artur Mas "an empty dialogue". Cleries said that Rajoy only talks about Catalonia from Valladolid, Dublin or the Basque Country but "never directly with President Mas nor with the Catalans".
In this vein, Cleries urged Rajoy "to talk about Catalonia with the [Catalan] President". He insisted on the importance of talking "face to face" and of doing so not only with the Catalan President but also with "trade unions, shop-keepers, workers and employers". According to the CiU Senator, by doing this, Rajoy would "see the desire of the people of Catalonia is not that of a single person who is obsessed" but it is the will of a people who "want to decide on their future because you have brought us where we are now ".
For this reason Cleries asked him "to be brave" and "talk in depth" with Mas "about everything". He also urged Rajoy "to listen to the people of Catalonia in the ballot boxes" because "in Catalonia we neither fear dialogue nor democracy, and we see that Spain's Prime Minister does not like to talk nor does he like a democracy that talks through the polls".