MADRID, NETRALNEWS.COM - The Spanish government will take control of Catalunya if the region's leader, Carles Puigdemont, replies ambiguously to Madrid’s question about whether he has declared independence from Spain, Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said, Saturday (10/14/2017).
Puigdemont symbolically declared the independence, Tuesday (10/10/2017) night, but moments later suspended the enactment of independence and asked Madrid to negotiate for the region's future.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has given Puigdemont time until Monday to clarify his position, and until Thursday to change his mind if he insists on separating Catalunya from Spain.
With the ultimatum, Rajoy threatens to suspend his Catalunya autonomy if Puigdemont chooses independence.
“The answer must be without any ambiguity. He must say ‘yes’ or ‘no’,” Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido told Cope radio.
“If he answers ambiguously, it means he doesn’t want dialogue and thus the Spanish government will have to take action,” he also added.
Puigdemont, who consultates with parties in his region to prepare his answer, faced a severe dilemma.
If he says that he is indeed proclaiming independence, the central government will intervene. If he says he does not do so, CPU's far-left Catalunya party will likely withdraw support from his minority government.
CUP on Friday (10/13/2017) urged Puigdemont to explicitly declare independence, which means it is an insubordination against the deadline set by the Madrid government. Such a hardline position has also been backed by influential pro-independence civic group Catalan National Assembly.
The Catalunya government said 90 percent of Catalunya's citizens have voted to separate from Spain, after Catalunya held a referendum on Oct. 1, considered by authorities in Madrid as illegal.
Under Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, the central government in Madrid can suspend the political autonomy of a region if it breaks the law.