Spanish PM defends article 155 in Congress

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-25 19:36:28|Editor: liuxin
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MADRID, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy defended his government's decision to apply Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution in order to suspend the autonomy of the Catalan region in the wake of the ongoing crisis there.

The Article was approved by Rajoy's cabinet on Saturday and is expected to be ratified by the Spanish Senate (where his ruling Peoples' Party has a big majority) on Friday.

Speaking in the control session of the Congress for the first time since the decision to pass Article 155 which would see Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his government sacked and Madrid take control of key Catalan institutions such as the police, treasury and regional TV network, Rajoy insisted that "it was the only possible reply" to the independence seeking Catalan regional government.

He added that although Puigdemont had said he wanted dialogue, "the only dialogue he wants are for the terms and timing of independence," and that it was time to return to the framework of the law and the Spanish Constitution.

Rajoy received the support of Albert Rivera, the leader of the center-right party Ciudadanos, who commented that the sooner new elections were called for Catalonia, then "the sooner we will be able to get rid of Puigdemont with votes and democracy."

However, the Socialist Party did not follow the stance taken by the PP and Ciudadanos with PSOE spokesperson, Margarita Robles commenting that "if Puigdemont calls regional elections (as could happen when the Catalan Parliament meets on Thursday) then there is no need for article 155 to be applied.

It is still uncertain whether Puigdemont will appear in the Senate after being invited to debate Article 155 of either Thursday at 17:00 or Friday at 10:00, as the times he has been given to speak on Thursday clash with the session of the Catalan regional assembly, while on Friday the decision to call new elections or to declare Catalan independence will have already been taken.