Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that he defends, “a Spain such as we have today.” Rajoy also added that, “the claims for independence” are “the worst thing that could happen to us all, to all the people of Catalonia and to all the people of Spain” because “this would put an end to our shared centuries of history” and “liquidate the ties of all types that unite us.”
Speaking about the so-called Transience Act (the content of which was published in the media just a few days ago), Rajoy noted that this piece of legislation seeks to liquidate the Spanish Constitution, the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, national unity and national sovereignty, as well as “remove Catalonia from Europe” “by a majority” and “in just a day.”
As regards the pro-sovereignty process, Rajoy said that this could force the people of Catalonia, who at present are Catalans, Spaniards and Europeans, to choose one of these three statuses. He also added that “they would leave Europe, whatever they may say.” On this point, Rajoy referred to Brexit and the “unfortunately bad” consequences that this will have, both for the people of Great Britain and for the rest of Europe.
Rajoy, speaking Saturday at the 33rd meeting of the Economic Forum in Sitges, pointed out that any breakaway by Catalonia “would be traumatic”, with “terrible” economic consequences. Among other things, he explained, the people of Catalonia would lose European aid and “not be able to try and host the European Medicines Agency.”
Although he expressed his interest in seeking a solution and “new formulas” for understanding, Rajoy indicated that he is being asked to do something that he neither wishes nor is able to do.
“I do not want to see a referendum held anywhere in Spain that deprives the Spanish people of their right to decide on what their own country is. Not here, or anywhere else in Spain. I neither wish to see nor do I believe that this will be possible while I am the Prime Minister.”
In this regard, Rajouy added that this referendum can only be authorized by Parliament following a reform of the Constitution “because sovereignty belongs to the Spanish people” and because, “the right to decide is a right that belongs to everyone in relation to what they want their country to be.”