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EU 'Natural' Mediator for Catalonia-Spain Conflict - Spanish Lawmaker

06 October 2017, 12:43 | Myrtle Vega

Spanish Assets Sell Off Again but Referendum Is Yet to Dent Broader Europe

People shout slogans against Spanish National Police during a gathering outside a National Police station in Barcelona Spain

CATALAN Premier Carles Puigdemont has firmly rebuked King Felipe of Spain for "ignoring the millions of Catalans who don't think like him", following the royal's thundering criticisms of the region's pro-independence movement. However, the region must give up its calls for independence once both regions have agreed to a compromise and Catalonia must "return to the path of law" before the negotiations can proceed. The next move could involve suspending the regional government and implementing direct rule from Madrid.

Puigdemont has not explained the scope of his proposal for global mediation, whether it would envisage a compromise short of independence or deal only with divorce arrangements.

"The government will not negotiate over any illegal acts, nor will it be blackmailed", read an official statement released by the central government in Madrid. Separatist leaders in Catalonia have been accused of attempting to exclude unionist parties from the proceedings.

"It is shameful they take all that money and they've not said anything about European Union citizens being clubbed, literally clubbed, by police officers".

Catalonia's leader is again urging the Spanish government to accept mediation in one the country's deepest political crisis in decades as he vows to push ahead with a roadmap for the region's secession "in the next few days".

But at that time, all Spaniards were on one side - that of democracy - Romero said.

A declaration of independence would intensify the conflict with the central government, which along with the national courts has branded the referendum illegal.

The tone of the crisis sharpened with Catalonia's president denouncing the king's intervention and Spain's government rejecting any possible talks.

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The European Commission is appealing for dialogue between the Spanish government in Madrid and Catalonia even if it says there is a "general consensus" that the northeastern region ignored Spanish law with its referendum.

Take, for example, the Spanish government's use of the Constitution and the judiciary to suffocate a series of political, economic and cultural aspirations in Catalonia.

Of course, that didn't stop Sunday's vote or the violence that ensued.

In other developments, Spain's Caixabank is said to be considering moving its legal base outside Catalonia, according to a source speaking to the Reuters news agency.

Spain's constitution determines that the majority which counts is Spain as a whole, not Catalonia's 5.3 million voters.

Spain's constitutional court has suspended a session of the Catalan parliament where separatists were planning to declare independence. Telecommunications firm Eurona saw its stock pop by 8% after it said it would move its headquarters from Barcelona to Madrid, while biotech outfit Oryzon-which has announced the same move-saw its stock price rise by nearly 13%.

"Everything that is Spain is in danger, including its institutional make-up, and the key to the Spanish institutional make-up is the king", said Romero, who is finishing a book on the king, in power since 2014.

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