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Spain gives 5-day ultimatum to Catalonia over independence

Spain gives 5-day ultimatum to Catalonia over independence

Posted October. 13, 2017 07:35,   

Updated October. 13, 2017 09:18


Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday issued an ultimatum to the autonomous government of Catalonia to clarify by next Monday whether the northeastern region has formally declared independence. The ultimatum was a clear message that Madrid rejects Catalonia’s offer of talks and has no intention to negotiate. After declaring independence, Catalonia said it would suspect the effect temporarily and proposed talks with Madrid.

After a cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning, the Spanish prime minister said in a live radio statement that the his cabinet would ask Catalonia to make it clear whether it has declared independence, adding an answer from Catalonia’s separatist leader would dictate Madrid’s future course of action. He also told the parliament that he would reject Catalonia’s proposal to seek international mediation. International news agency AFP reported that Rajoy gave Catalan President Carles Puigdemont five days until October 16 to clarify his position on the rogue region’s independence.

Puigdemont announced on Tuesday that he was mandated by a referendum to proceed with a declaration of Catalan independence, but proposed suspending its implementation for a few weeks to seek dialogue and mediation with the government in Madrid. His idea was to declare Catalonia’s qualification as an independent state and to seek drastic expansion of the region’s autonomy through negotiations with Madrid by leveraging its enhanced status. However, Rajoy’s counter attack has put him at a crucial crossroads.

Su-Yeon Kim sykim@donga.com