Spain Moves Toward Taking Control of Catalonia: Rajoy's Remarks

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday took a historic step toward seizing control of the Catalan regional government.

Citing the “confusion” created when regional President Carles Puigdemont Tuesday declared independence from Spain and then suspended it, Rajoy said he would make a formal demand for clarity. A requirement such as this is one of the necessary legal steps before possible intervention.

The following are remarks by Rajoy during a televised speech at the Moncloa palace in Madrid after meeting earlier with his cabinet of ministers:

“The Cabinet agreed this morning to formally request from the government of Catalonia that it confirm whether it declared independence in the midst of the confusion deliberately created about its implementation.

“This request -- before any of the measures that the government can implement under Article 155 of our Constitution -- aims to offer our citizens the clarity and security that an issue of such importance requires.

“With today’s decision, the government aims to offer certainty to the Spanish people, especially Catalans, and to avoid the confusion generated by the government of Catalonia on an issue which concerns and worries them so much.

For an explanation of how Article 155 of Spanish Constitution works, click here

“The response that the President of Catalonia will give to this request will determine events in the coming days.

“If Mr. Puigdemont makes clear his wish to respect the law and return institutions to normality, he would end a period of uncertainty, tension and the rupture of coexistence.”

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