Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday said he would not hold talks with exiled Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont in the wake of the results of Catalan regional elections held Thursday.
As voters in Catalonia ready themselves for Thursday’s election results, they will not be alone in anxious anticipation. Nobody has bet more on the outcome than Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who has urged Catalans to step back from what he sees as an illegal, reckless insistence on independence.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said on Tuesday he has a mandate to declare independence for the north-eastern Spanish region but is prepared to wait “a few weeks” in order to facilitate a dialogue. Puigdemont told the Catalan parliament a landslide victory in the disputed October 1 referendum on independence gives his government grounds to implement its long-held desire to break century-old ties with Spain but he is suggesting holding off.