Catalonia to go ahead with referendum on leaving Spain

Talks between Catalan President Artur Mas and Spanish Prime Minister Marianop Rajoy failed to produce any agreement but the region still plans to hold a vote in November.

Catalonia to go ahead with referendum on leaving Spain

World Bulletin / News Desk

Catalan President Artur Mas has said he is determined to push ahead with a referendum on independence for the region, despite failing to agree a way forward with the Spanish government.

Emerging from a two-hour meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday, Mas said: “As I told him, we are determined to hold the consultation.”

Mas, who has led the Catalan government since 2010, is set on holding a referendum in November despite a judicial ruling in March that such a poll would be illegal under the Spanish Constitution.

He said Rajoy had reiterated that position during their meeting.

Catalonia is Spain’s richest region and it’s 7.5 million people account for 16 percent of the Spanish population.

In a statement, Rajoy insisted that Spain’s main priority should be to “consolidate and speed up the economic recovery” and warned that political instability could threaten growth.

Mas told reporters that he was happy that dialogue is now open. “When there is an open dialogue, there will always be a way for solutions,” he said.

He also called for a framework for the referendum to be put in place, referring to the planned independence referendum in Scotland in September. The proposed referendum, set for November 9, will ask voters in Catalonia if they want the region to become its own state and if it should be independent.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Temmuz 2014, 11:36