Madrid: The Spanish government will meet on Wednesday due to the extraordinary situation created on Tuesday after President of the regional government of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, said the effects of the declaration of independence will be suspended to open a period of dialogue.
Spain’s Deputy Prime Minster, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, said on Tuesday there would be an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Wednesday to discuss the situation, Xinhua news agency reported. Saenz de Santamaria said that Puigdemont has made Catalonia unstable and that his speech showed he does not know where he is going.
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According to Saenz de Santamaria, the regional government of Catalonia, Generalitat, cannot confirm the results of the referendum because it is illegal. Neither Puigdemont nor others can draw conclusions from a law that does not exist, a referendum that did not take place, she said, adding that the laws passed by the Catalan parliament were illegal too.
Puigdemont appeared at the Catalan parliament on Tuesday and proposed to suspend the effects of the declaration of independence a few weeks in order to open a process of dialogue. Catalan leaders have signed a declaration of independence from Spain but suspended it to allow talks with the government in Madrid.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and other regional leaders have signed a declaration of independence from Spain, following the disputed referendum. However, they say the move will not be implemented for several weeks to allow talks with the government in Madrid, BBC reported. The document calls for Catalonia to be recognised as an “independent and sovereign state”.
The move was immediately dismissed by the Spanish central government in Madrid. A October 1 referendum in the north-eastern province — which Catalan leaders say resulted in a Yes vote for independence – was declared invalid by Spain’s Constitutional Court. Earlier on Tuesday, Puigdemont told the Catalan parliament in Barcelona that the region had won the right to be independent as a result of the vote. The referendum resulted in almost 90 per cent of voters backing independence, Catalan officials say. But anti-independence voters largely boycotted the ballot – which had a reported turnout of 43 per cent – and there were several reports of irregularities.
The declaration reads: “We call on all states and international organisations to recognise the Catalan republic as an independent and sovereign state.” Puigdemont told the regional parliament that the “people’s will” was to break away from Madrid, but he also said he wanted to “de-escalate” the tension around the issue. “We are all part of the same community and we need to go forward together. The only way forward is democracy and peace,” he told deputies.
But he also said Catalonia was being denied the right to self-determination, and paying too much in taxes to the central government in Madrid. Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria responded to Tuesday’s developments by saying: “Neither Puigdemont nor anybody else can claim… to impose mediation. “Any dialogue between democrats has to take place within the law.”