Catalonia Suspends Declaration of Independence for Talks with Madrid

Catalonia Suspends Declaration of Independence for Talks with Madrid

Catalonia Suspends Declaration of Independence for Talks with Madrid

In a press conference after a party meeting, Sanchez explained that "we share Rajoy's (Spanish Prime Minister) decision so that Puigdemont (president of Catalonia) clarifies what he said yesterday".

Following his declaration to Parliament, Puigdemont and his allies signed an Independence declaration outside the chamber, but its legal validity was unclear.

On the same day that Catalonia's president called for negotiations with Spain to secure independence for his state, the White House signaled it favored talks between Catalonia and the Madrid government and "them moving forward".

Puigdemont said on Tuesday that he had accepted "the mandate of the people for Cataloniato become an independent republic" following a banned referendum earlier this month.

"The cabinet has agreed to require formally to the Catalan government to confirm whether it has declared or not independence", Rajoy said in a televised address.

Deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told reporters shortly after the signing that Puigdemont was "a person who doesn't know where he is, where he's going or with whom he wants to go".

Thus Catalonia finds itself in constitutional limbo, as the Spanish Government announces it has requested clarification on whether or not the Catalan Government has actually declared independence.

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Article 155 of the Constitution allows the central government to take some or total control of any of its 17 regions if they do not comply with their legal obligations.

Mr Rajoy has vowed to use everything in his power to prevent independence and has refused to rule out imposing direct rule over the semi-autonomous region - an unprecedented move many fear could lead to unrest.

Catalonia pressed ahead with an independence referendum on October 1 that the central government said breached Spain's constitution.

He said the "people's will" was to break away from Madrid, but he also said he wanted to "de-escalate" the tension around the issue.

Rajoy said that he was asking for clarification from President Puigdemont, who he accused of creating "deliberate confusion". But it was marred by violence after Spanish police acting on court orders attempted to stop the vote by raiding polling stations, seizing ballot boxes, beating voters and firing rubber bullets at crowds.

The European Union made clear that if Catalonia split from Spain, the region would cease to be part of the EU.

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