Catalan leader Puigdemont declines to speak in Spanish Senate

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-25 23:43:15|Editor: yan
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MADRID, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont rejected the opportunity on Wednesday to speak at the Spanish Senate on Thursday to present his case over the application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution.

The confirmation of his non-appearance was given by Carme Forcadell, the President of the Catalan Parliament, who explained it was impossible for Puigdemont to be Madrid at the 17:00 time offered to him by the Senate as the Catalan Parliament was due to hold a session beginning an hour earlier.

Puigdemont had been offered the chance to "debate" with the Spanish government the implementation of the article which when approved on Friday will see him and his government sacked and direct control from Madrid imposed on key Catalan institutions, such as the Mossos d'Esquadra (police), Treasury and regional TV network, TV3.

Earlier on Wednesday, Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy told congress that Article 155 was "the only possible reply" to Puigdemont's independence seeking Catalan regional government.

Rajoy explained that although the Catalan leader has continually offered 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.

It is still uncertain whether the Catalan Parliament will opt to declare independence on Thursday or to call new regional elections, but while both Rajoy and Rivera insisted that calling elections would not avert the application of Article 155, the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) disagrees with spokesperson, saying "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."