Defiant Catalonia Delivers ‘Invalid’ Response To Spain, Escalating Tensions

Ok, well Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has decided to throw caution to the wind.

Despite Madrid having made it clear that he needs to make it clear whether or not he has indeed declared independence, his response to the Spanish government (which he had until this morning to deliver) stopped short of giving a definitive answer.

Puigdemont said the Catalan parliament had a mandate to declare independence and called on the Spanish government to “end repression.” He reiterated that Catalonia’s proposal for dialogue on the issue is sincere.

 

“My government’s priority is to wholeheartedly pursue the path of dialogue,” Puigdemont says, adding that “we want to talk – as people do in established democracies – about the problem facing the majority of Catalan people who want to begin their journey as an independent country in Europe. The suspension of the political mandate received at the ballot box on 1 October shows our firm desire to find a solution and not confrontation.”

So for now, Puigdemont is sticking with the idea that the independence declaration “remains in suspension.”

That, in turn, means Madrid is likely to “remain” angry and sure enough, Efe is out reporting that the government doesn’t see Catalonia’s response to Rajoy as valid because it’s not clear. That’s according to Justice Minister Rafael Catala.

The head of the People’s Party in Catalonia Xavier Garcia Albiol says Puigdemont’s answer shows he is irresponsible.

Spanish stocks aren’t lovin’ it. Although off the lows, the IBEX fell pretty sharply at the open:

IBEX

It seems like Article 155 is next. As of now, it’s not entirely clear what all that would entail, but the bottom line is that this just moved one step further in the direction of becoming an actual crisis with spillover potential. Here’s Rajoy on the tape:

  • SPAIN PM RAJOY SAYS PUIGDEMONT DEMAND WAS STEP TOWARD ART. 155

So that’s a “good” way to start the week.

 

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