Spanish PM to "make sure the law is obeyed" over Catalan independence vote

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-05 20:40:50|Editor: ying
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MADRID, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez had a phone conversation in an attempt to resolve the issue of the Catalan independence referendum, Spanish media reported on Tuesday.

The pair discussed opening a commission to evaluate updating and modernizing Spain's system of autonomous regions, which Rajoy is reported to have valued "positively".

This news came after Rajoy repeated on Monday that he will "make sure that the law is fulfilled" in regard to the Catalan independence referendum, which is scheduled to be held on Oct. 1.

The Catalan regional assembly is expected to pass the motion to set up the mechanism to hold the referendum, which goes against the Spanish Constitution of 1977 which says that any such measure has to be approved by the Spanish Congress.

According to Spanish media, Rajoy also insisted that the Catalan pro-independence movement "did not want to negotiate...that is the truth".

"They knew that I was not going to authorize it (the referendum) because I was neither able to, nor did I want to, but they didn't care about that," Rajoy said.

"Everyone is looking at each other, and they don't have confidence in each other, but there is nobody (In Catalonia) able to show leadership and ask 'what are we doing?' when it seems that the most logical thing to do at this moment is to rectify," continued Rajoy.

He repeated a phrase he had used on Saturday, calling the planned referendum an "error", and insisted that the Spanish government would "act with proportionality, intelligence, calm and firmness" in order to "ensure the law is obeyed".

"There cannot be a democratic government which goes against the fundamental law which is the Constitution," he insisted.

Meanwhile, leaders of Catalan pro-independence parties CUP and Republican Left (ERC) have urged followers to take to the streets and peacefully protest if anyone attempts to remove ballot boxes on Oct. 1.