Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister, and leader of the conservative Popular Party (PP), launched an attack on the actions of the Catalan regional government in a speech to the Congress of Deputies in Madrid (Cortes), claiming it was no legal is neither democratic.
“What is not legal is not democratic. The referendum of October 1 has failed completely. No supposed result can legitimise any political decision and, much less, the independence of Catalonia” – Rajoy stated.
“The referendum lacked any democratic guarantee. The referendum lacked the principles of transparency, neutrality and veracity of the result”.
“There is no single country in the world that has taken the referendum seriously” – Rajoy claimed.
Reportedly Madrid has given to Barcelona a week to clarify the situation, setting deadline on next Monday, October 16.
The clarification is paramount as if Catalan independence has been declared then Rajoy has a reason to trigger Article 155 of the Spanish constitution and suspend the region’s power of self-rule. Such a move could see the country’s national police and Guardia Civil return in force to the streets of the Catalan capital Barcelona as they inforce Madrid’s takeover of the Catalan institutions. The Catalan leaders might be arrested to face Spanish courts and long term sentences for treason.
Firmly supported by the EU, Madrid applies concept of legality to the situation in Catalonia, claiming the the the independence can be declared only consensually. The position in in direct contradiction with the EU promotion of independence of Kosovo, Spain consistently opposed.