Madrid seeks talks with Catalonia to avoid independence referendum

WO-AL794A_CATAL_NS_20121122190303Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has proposed talks with the Catalan regional government in an effort to avert a referendum on Barcelona’s independence from Madrid.

Rajoy on Saturday sent a letter to the leader of the Catalan regional government, Artur Mas, proposing the talks, just three days after crowds of 1.6 million people flooded the region’s streets, waving red, yellow and blue flags Catalan flags and calling for independence. Activists calling themselves The Catalan Way linked hands, forming a human chain that stretched for more than 400 kilometers along Catalonia’s Mediterranean coast, uniting 86 towns and villages.

In his letter, PM Rajoy said he was “convinced of the exceptional relevance of Catalonia for Spain and of the richness, plurality and singularity of Catalan society,” but added that “ties cannot be broken without huge … economic, political and social costs.” He added, “We need to work together to strengthen these ties and move away from confrontation.”

A referendum would be a “unilateral declaration of independence that would have serious consequences for Spain and also for Catalonia,” Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo warned earlier this month, adding that Catalonia would have to “bid farewell to the European Union” if it went ahead with the independence vote.

Read @ RT

One Response to Madrid seeks talks with Catalonia to avoid independence referendum

  1. Rajoy is delusional if he thinks he can stop the democratically expressed wishes of the Catalan people. The stipulations of the Spanish constitution do not over rule democracy. The international community will not stand idly by and watch Madrid attempt to veto a referendum, still less take any more radical measures against the Catalan government. Although I have no time for David Cameron or UK unionists, at least the British establishment were intelligent enough to realise that trying to prevent an independence referendum in Scotland would have been politically disastrous, as well as morally and ethically indefensible.

    Independence for Catalonia is a matter for the Catalan people to decide. Rajoy would do well to reflect that this is not 1936. Mas and the independence movement should stick to their guns and announce the referendum in September 2014; do not be distracted by the false promise of increased powers, devolution or a more federal system. Creaking, ramshackle, crypto-medieval systems like those in Spain and the UK are regressive to their core. Their governing elites are not interested in a more progressive society, they aim only to protect their vested interests and power at all costs.

    Your message of the Catalan government and people to Rajoy should be clear: “We are happy to listen to your opinion, but the decision is ours; either accept it, or get out of our way!”

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