A cross-party group of Scottish politicians has asked the Spanish government to allow people in Catalonia to decide their future democratically. The move comes amid rising tensions in Spain, after the devolved Catalan administration decided to call an independence referendum next Sunday, which Madrid has described the move as illegal.
Spain’s prime minister called on Wednesday on Catalan separatist leaders to end their “escalation” as several thousand people took to the streets of Barcelona to protest at Madrid’s attempts to stop a banned referendum on independence.
Spain’s top prosecutor is investigating more than 700 Catalan mayors for cooperating with a planned referendum on the region’s independence after the nation’s constitutional court ordered the vote put on hold. Catalonia’s regional police force is under orders to arrest the mayors if they refuse to appear for questioning, State Prosecutor Jose Manuel Maza’s office said.
Spain is pushing for the European Union to adopt restrictive measures against members of the Venezuelan government as a way of encouraging a return to constitutional order in the crisis-hit country, the Spanish foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has told the country’s National Court he did not know anything about the ruling Partido Popular’s accounting practices when a corrupt scheme allegedly helped fund it. Wednesday’s highly-anticipated hearing was the first time that a prime minister has appeared in court while holding office since Spain transitioned to democracy four decades ago.
European leaders have endorsed a joint negotiating position on Brexit, including the controversial Spanish veto over the application of any future U.K./EU trade deal to Gibraltar. The 27 remaining members states formally agreed their talks strategy at a special European Council meeting in Brussels.
Argentine president Mauricio Macri started an official state visit to Spain on Wednesday and was received with a display of full military honors of the Royal Household at the Royal Palace. Following a meeting with King Felipe, the president left for Congress where he addressed the full house.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has defended his government’s co-sovereignty proposal for Gibraltar and reiterated that Spain will use Brexit to push its sovereignty aspirations over the Rock. Rajoy made the comments during a wide-ranging interview with Agence France Presse. “I think that our proposal of shared sovereignty is very reasonable,” he said.
United States President Donald Trump has expressed his commitment to NATO and bilateral cooperation with Spain during a telephone call with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, a media report said on Wednesday. They also discussed the fight against the terrorist group Islamic State (IS), and Spain's role as potential bridge with Latin American countries and Europe.
Theresa May’s hopes for an early deal on the post-Brexit rights of British citizens living in the EU were given a boost as Spain’s Mariano Rajoy backed the plan. The Prime Minister has refused to guarantee the status of EU citizens in the UK unless reciprocal arrangements are made for Britons living on the continent.