Spain's Rajoy rejects mediation over Catalonia crisis

Spain's Rajoy rejects mediation over Catalonia crisis

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy speaks during a press conference at La Moncloa palace in Madrid. (JAVIER SORIANO/AFP)

MADRID: Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday (Oct 11) rejected any mediation to resolve the crisis over Catalonia's independence push.

"There is no mediation possible between democratic law and disobedience, illegality," he told parliament.

Catalonia's separatist leaders on Tuesday signed an independence declaration but said they were suspending it in the hope Madrid would negotiate.

Rajoy also dismissed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont's independence plan as a "fairy tale".

"It is not peaceful, it is not free, it will not be recognised by Europe and now everyone knows it will have costs," he added.

He was referring to several big companies which have moved their headquarters outside of Catalonia in recent days.

Puigdemont has repeatedly called for mediation since he pushed ahead on Oct 1 with an independence referendum in Catalonia that was deemed illegal by Madrid and the Spanish courts.

Earlier on Wednesday he proposed during an interview with CNN that a mediator be named to settle the crisis.

"Maybe, it could help (us) to talk if two people representing the Spanish government and two people representing the Catalan government just simply agree on one thing, for instance, naming a mediator," he said.

Puigdemont announced in the regional parliament Tuesday that he had accepted the mandate for "Catalonia to become an independent state" following the contested referendum.

Source: AFP/aa