Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday gave Catalonia’s leader five days to clarify his position on whether or not he was declaring independence, Reuters reported.
Rajoy also on Wednesday rejected any mediation to resolve the crisis over Catalonia’s independence push.
“The cabinet has agreed this morning to formally request the Catalan government to confirm whether it has declared the independence of Catalonia, regardless of the deliberate confusion created over its implementation,” Rajoy said in a televised address after a cabinet meeting called to consider the government’s response.
He later told Spain’s parliament the Catalan government had until Monday, Oct. 16 at 0800 GMT to answer. If Puigdemont was to confirm he did declare independence, he would be given an additional three days to rectify it, until Thursday, Oct. 19 at 0800 GMT. Failing this, Article 155 would be triggered.
Catalonia’s leaders on Tuesday signed an independence declaration but said they were suspending it in the hope Madrid would negotiate.
As we reported earlier, on Sunday, October 8, thousands of people attended a rally in Barcelona, protesting against the independence of Catalonia from Spain. Protesters gathered in the central square of the city, holding in their hands Spanish and Catalan flags. Demonstrators chanted "Catalonia is Spain" and urged to detain the president of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont.
Earlier, referendum on the withdrawal from Spain was held in Catalonia. 2.26 million out of 5.31 million Catalan voters took part in it. On the day of voting, there were clashes between law enforcers and supporters of the referendum, about 900 people were injured.