The head of the Spanish government, Mariano Rajoy, once again rejected any possibility of dialogue with Catalan authorities, in the midst of a crisis over the issue of independence, and said that Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution is the “only option.”
During a special session of the Spanish Congress, the Representative of the
Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), Joan Tarda, questioned Rajoy’s unwillingness to engage in dialogue with the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont.
Rajoy responded that “the only possible answer” to the situation raised by Puigdemont is the application of Article 155 and said that Puigdemont only wants to talk about the deadlines to execute the independence of Catalonia and not Madrid’s proposals.
“The only dialogue, the only thing he wanted to discuss was the terms, the terms of independence … something I can not do. Mr. Puigdemont did not want to talk about anything else, he did not want to come to Congress; we will see if it goes to the Senate,” he said.
“In Spain we have been talking for 40 years, but you cannot have a discussion in the Parliament (of Catalonia),” he told Tarda.
Previously the ERC deputy had said that “denying dialogue is to increase the emotional gulf between Spain and Catalonia,” while calling for “negotiation, dialogue and intermediation.”
In his speech, Rajoy reiterated that the priorities of his government to Activate 155 is to restore legality, since “where there is no law there is no democracy and dialogue.”
Rajoy said another goal of Madrid’s is to resolve the economic situation and convene elections within no more than six months.
Likewise, the spokeswoman for the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), Margarita Robles, reiterated the position of the main opposition group: if Puigdemont convenes elections there is no need to put Article 155 into operation.
Robles considered that it would not be necessary to go ahead with the article if Puigdemont “accepts the legality and the constitutional framework and convokes immediate elections”.