Madrid (ACN).- The two main Spanish parties are frontally opposed to the celebration of an independence referendum in Catalonia and their leaders will fight together against the Catalan government plans to hold one. In a phone conversation on Monday, the Spanish President and leader of the People’s Party (PP), Mariano Rajoy, and the re-elected leader of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Pedro Sánchez, discussed their united front against a self-determination vote in Catalonia. “The PSOE will defend the legality and the Constitution,” confirmed the Spanish Vice President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, in a press conference in Madrid, where she briefed journalists about the two leaders’ conversation. According to her, the Socialists are “against the illegal referendum being planned by the Catalan Government” and will block “any attempt” to “violate” the Spanish Constitution.
The same day that the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, called a meeting with all the political parties in favor of the independence referendum, the Spanish Vice President reminded him that such a vote is “unnegotiable”. However, Sáenz de Santamaría urged Puigdemont to present his plans in the Spanish Congress anyway. “A self-determination referendum is unnegotiable. Nevertheless such an initiative cannot be discussed behind closed-doors, it needs to be discussed in Congress, while listening to everyone that has something to say about it,” she insisted.
The Spanish Vice President said that the referendum summit being held in Catalonia on Monday “shows” that the Catalan Government is “led by the radicals” of the left-wing CUP, which “impose their calendar and strategy”. The CUP has urged the Catalan President to confirm the date and the question of the referendum, something that Puigdemont’s coalition partner, ERC, is also asking for.
Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría accused the Catalan Government of playing “the victim card” with the referendum. “They’re not fooling anyone,” she added, suggesting that Puigdemont and his Vice President, Oriol Junqueras, are waiting for the right moment to call “early elections”. “Catalonia is in a pre-electoral atmosphere,” she concluded.