Rajoy will “never” accept questioning of Spain’s unity and does not recognise a ‘de facto’ referendum in Catalonia
In the annual Debate on the State of the Union in the Spanish Parliament, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy repeated that he will “never” accept putting Spain’s unity in question. He said that the next Catalan Parliament elections, scheduled for 27 September, are not a ‘de facto’ referendum on independence, as pro-independence parties are claiming. However, Rajoy said he is willing to talk but only if “the law is always respected”. The Spokesperson of the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida, emphasised that “not making any proposal” to address Catalonia’s claims is “political negligence”. Furthermore, he regretted that the Spanish Government is not respecting the law when it is recentralising powers and not respecting Catalonia’s self-rule. The Spokesperson for the left-wing Catalan independence party ERC, Alfred Bosch, told Rajoy that “the sooner he acknowledges” that there is an independence referendum in September, “the sooner we will find solutions”.