Rajoy Says Won’t Tolerate ‘Blackmail’ From Those Who Threaten Catalonia’s Independence

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that he will discuss the proposal put forward by the President of the Regional Parliament of Catalonia, if the latter has the “courage” to present it in the Lower House of Parliament. Furthermore, he stressed that the Government of Spain continues working to prevent, pursue and punish corruption, and fully supports a proposal for the Upper House of Parliament to coordinate a strategy against cyber-attacks.

At the government control session held in the Upper House of Parliament, Rajoy stressed that the Government of Spain will “preserve” democracy and the rule of law that exist in Spain, which demands respect for the rules and law from everyone. This was the reply given by the Prime Minister to the Member of the Upper House for Esquerra Republicana [Republican Left], Mirella Cortès Gès, when she asked him about his willingness to reach an agreement with the Regional Parliament of Catalonia on holding a referendum in Catalonia.

Rajoy said that following the law “is inextricably tied to the concept of democracy”, and those wishing to change that should make a proposal to the Lower House of Parliament and convince MPs that it is positive for all Spaniards. Mariano Rajoy reiterated his invitation to the President of the Regional Government of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, for him to explain his position to Parliament.

“If Mr. Puigdemont comes to the Lower House of Parliament, I will debate with him and do so gladly. I hope he has the courage, determination and bravery to do so”, Rajoy said.

Rajoy said he is willing “to talk about all reasonable issues” but not enter into dialogue with those who, “if I choose not to do what they say, threaten me with a legal transition act for withdrawing from Spain and making one of the greatest mistakes to have been announced in many years”. Neither a President of the Government of Spain nor anyone else can tolerate “blackmail”, said Rajoy, who also criticised the intention by the Catalan Parliament to approve that law within 24 hours and without debate.

While others “create instability and frustration”, he added, his “wish” and “obligation” is “to respond to the real needs of Catalonia and the Catalan people”. In this regard, he said that the decisions taken by the Central Government of Spain have led to a radical change in situation when compared with late 2011, when the Regional Government of Catalonia was “practically bankrupt”, unable to finance itself and not paying its suppliers.


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