Spanish Senate invites Catalan leader to speak later in week

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-25 01:16:00|Editor: Zhou Xin
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MADRID, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont on Tuesday was offered the chance to debate in the Spanish senate over the application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution.

The action would see him and his government sacked and see control of key Catalan institutions being handed over to the central government in Madrid.

Puigdemont has been invited to appear on Thursday evening or Friday morning, before the senate votes to approve the article.

Vice president of the Spanish senate Pedro Sanz said: "It would be an honor to have the president of the Generalitat (Catalan government) here to be able to participate in the debate."

However, it is still uncertain whether Puigdemont will travel to Madrid. Following Sanz's comments, Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turul said Puigdemont's idea "was to go to the senate, but they are making it harder for us all of the time".

The Catalan parliament announced on Monday that it would hold a session on Thursday to debate the "current situation", in which Puigdemont may reportedly make a unilateral declaration of independence or call for fresh regional elections in the hope of avoiding the application of article 155.

The possibility of regional elections in Catalonia has caused divisions between the ruling People's Party and the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE).

PSOE sources said such a move would make it unnecessary to apply the article, while Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catala insisted this was not the case and that what was needed was a "return to legality".