Marcha 20, 2018

Spanish Prime Minister asks Catalan leader to act "sensibly"

21 Octubre 2017, 08:39 | Crisanna Felipe

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy listens to lawmakers during a parliamentary session at the parliament in Madrid Oct. 18 2017

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy listens to lawmakers during a parliamentary session at the parliament in Madrid Oct. 18 2017

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated Tuesday in Catalonia, demanding their release.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is asking Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont to "act sensibly", as a government deadline for the northeastern region to renounce a bid for independence approaches.

The bonds pared their decline after the Treasury in Madrid sold 4.5 billion euros ($5.3 billion) of debt maturing between 2021 and 2046, compared with a target of 4 billion to 5 billion euros, just after the Catalan announcement. As the BBC reports today, the Spanish government is threatening to invoke a constitutional clause allowing them to suspend Catalonia's autonomous status and disband the regional government.

The result of constant political manipulation is deep social dissatisfaction with the judiciary in Spain.

But a senior EU source said the crisis was not on the agenda for the summit and he did not expect leaders to make a statement on the subject.

Article 155, which is described as the "nuclear option", has never been used since the Constitution was ratified in 1978.

Political leaders in Catalonia, Spain and Europe have urged Catalan separatists to back down and ease the country's biggest upheaval since it returned to democracy in the 1970s. The government added that many police officers also were injured. In his letters to Mr Rajoy, he says he wants "dialogue". It is unclear what would happen to Puigdemont.

Earlier this month, Catalonia staged a chaotic independence referendum, marked by widespread civil disobedience, that was met by a harsh response that saw National Police and Guardia Civil officers beating voters with rubber batons and dragging away ballot boxes.

Ivan Eland is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute.

The last time we checked in on the Catalonian independence movement things were in something of a holding pattern.

But Puigdemont said an independence referendum that took place on October 1 despite a ban by Madrid justifies secession.

Catalonia's leader said the region's parliament would vote on independence if Spain continued "repression". He was clearly frustrated. The situation is "serious but not unexpected".

The Catalan government (Generalitat, in Catalan) was restored in 1977 by virtue of an agreement between the Spanish post-Francisco Franco Prime Minister Adolfo Suárez and Generalitat's leader in exile Josep Tarradellas.

In the absence of a climbdown from one side or the other, a special cabinet meeting will be held in Madrid Saturday to push ahead with the invocation of Article 155. It's answering one question.

The Socialist opposition said they backed the government but suggested the measures should be limited in scope and time. It is possible that pro-independence sentiment has only grown in Catalonia in recent weeks.

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