No referendum on Catalan independence

SPANISH President Mariano Rajoy has said Catalonia will not hold a referendum on its independence.

President Rajoy said the proposed vote on independence is an absurdity. “I have not changed my opinion on the subject. There will not be an illegal referendum,” said Rajoy.

The president bases his refusal to accept the proposed referendum on Catalan independence on opinions voiced by the Spanish Parliament and the Constitutional Court. Nobody has the legal authority to make questions about national sovereignty affecting all Spaniards, said Rajoy. “There is and there will not be a referendum,” he remarked.

There are also practical reasons why a referendum would not be viable, said the president. “We are now talking about greater co-operation among banking institutions and greater energy integration, so it makes no sense for someone to want to separate (from Spain), because this would be incredibly detrimental to people living in Catalonia and to Spaniards,” he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is on an official visit to Spain, refused to make any comments about Rajoy’s statement, but stated that “what the president said should receive support.”

Regarding the electoral reform proposed by the People’s Party (PP), President Rajoy said it had not been formally proposed yet, but added that in his opinion it was better for citizens to elect their mayors instead of four or five political parties. “There are countries in the European Union where that is the procedure used to elect mayors,” he added.

President Rajoy said the electoral reform would be discussed in the PP and with the rest of Spain’s political parties.

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