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The Spanish Government states it “will never accept an agreed” self-determination referendum

The day before the National Day of Catalonia and the ‘Catalan Way towards independence’ human chain, Spain’s Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García Margallo, stated that the Spanish Government “will never accept an agreed” self-determination referendum with Catalonia. The statement comes a few days after it was revealed that the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the Catalan President Artur Mas have been negotiating to find an agreed way to solve the current situation. He also stated that “any independence process would have to come from a unilateral declaration of independence”, which would have “catastrophic consequences” for Spain and “particularly for Catalonia”. However, Margallo added that a new territorial model and financial scheme should be negotiated to stop “the detachment” from Spain that exists in Catalonia.

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10 September 2013 10:00 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The day before the National Day of Catalonia and the ‘Catalan Way towards independence’ human chain, Spain’s Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García Margallo, stated that the Spanish Government “will never accept an agreed” self-determination referendum with Catalonia. The statement comes a few days after it was revealed that the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the Catalan President Artur Mas have been negotiating to find an agreed way to solve the current situation. García Margallo insisted that the 400-kilometre human chain to be held on the 11th September “does not go anywhere”. He also stated that “any independence process would have to come from a unilateral declaration of independence”, since Spain would “never” agree to it. According to him, this unilateral declaration of independence would have “catastrophic consequences” for Spain and “particularly for Catalonia”. However, García Margallo added that a new territorial model and financial scheme should be negotiated to stop “the detachment” from Spain that exists in Catalonia. The Catalan Government replied to the Spanish Foreign Minister and said they “are not impressed” by Margallo’s statements and they will insist on negotiating for an agreed self-determination vote to take place.


The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister states that a new territorial model and financial scheme is needed for Catalonia

José Manuel García Margallo affirmed on Tuesday morning in Madrid that the Spanish Government will “never” accept an agreed self-determination referendum with Catalonia. However, he stated that a new territorial model between Catalonia and the rest of Spain is needed, as well as a new financial scheme. According to García Margallo, it is “obvious” that “a formula to better fit Catalonia” into Spain is needed. He said that reviewing the territorial model is “simple”, as it has been done at European Union level to set the powers between EU institutions and the Member States. He added that the current fiscal scheme works under principles of 1977, which according to him have “gotten old” and that a new one is needed. In addition, he believes that these two reforms should “satisfy the needs and desires of Catalans and put an end to the detachment” feelings that many Catalans have towards Spain. In the last few days, it has been revealed that the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, are discretely negotiating to find an agreed way out to the current political challenge.

However, García Margallo completely ruled out the possibility to have an agreed self-determination referendum as a way out of the current situation. According to him, “it is not possible” as the Spanish Constitution totally bans it. “It is possible in the United Kingdom, where there is not a written constitutional framework, but it is not possible in the Spanish Constitution neither in any written constitution from the present or from the past”, he explained.

Furthermore, he added that the ‘Catalan Way towards independence’ “does not go anywhere”. He insisted that Catalonia’s “goodbye Spain” is not positive “neither for Spain nor for Catalonia”, since it will have important consequences. According to him, Catalonia would lose between 20% and 25% of its GDP and would be kicked out of the European Union. However, García Margallo said that the fact that the ‘Catalan Way towards independence’ can be held in Catalonia is a proof that freedom of expression exists in Spain. Yesterday it was found out that the Spanish Government banned the human chain in the Valencian Country (also called Valencian Community) for “security reasons”.

The Catalan Government tells García Margallo that Catalan people “want to vote”

The Catalan Minister for the Presidency, who is also the Spokesperson of the Catalan Government, Francesc Homs said they “are not impressed” by García Margallo’s statements or by statements from anybody else. Homs explained that the Catalan Government will insist on negotiating to hold an agreed self-determination vote with the Spanish Executive. In addition, he added that they will stick to the self-determination vote’s calendar, which is scheduled to take place in 2014. He also said that such vote will be binding. Homs emphasised that a wide majority of Catalan citizens, representing around 80% of the population, want to hold such vote. He finally said that putting obstacles to democratic expressions is not advisable.

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  • García Margallo in one of his latests visits in Catalonia (by J. Polinario)

  • García Margallo in one of his latests visits in Catalonia (by J. Polinario)