Cata­lan leader faces heat on all sides as dead­line looms

Iran Daily - - Front Page -

Cata­lan Pres­i­dent Car­les Puigde­mont came un­der mount­ing pres­sure Fri­day as the rad­i­cal fac­tion of his sep­a­ratist al­liance pressed him to de­clare in­de­pen­dence just as his re­gion starts to suf­fer from the eco­nomic fall­out of the cri­sis.

Spain’s cen­tral gov­ern­ment has given Puigde­mont un­til next Thurs­day to aban­don his push for se­ces­sion, fail­ing which it may trig­ger un­prece­dented con­sti­tu­tional steps that could see Madrid take con­trol of the semi-au­ton­o­mous re­gion. hav­ing staged two mass ral­lies in just five days.

Pres­sure to break away

On Fri­day, the far-left CUP Party, an ally of Puigde­mont’s coali­tion gov­ern­ment, warned in an open let­ter that “only by pro­claim­ing a repub­lic will we be able to re­spect what the ma­jor­ity ex­pressed in the polls.”

The ref­er­en­dum took place on Oc­to­ber 1 de­spite a court ban that ruled it un­con­sti­tu­tional, and re­gional au­thor­i­ties say 90 per­cent chose to split an in­de­pen­dent state,” he im­me­di­ately sus­pended the dec­la­ra­tion, call­ing for more time for talks with Madrid.

Prime Min­is­ter Mar­i­ano Ra­joy re­jected talks, re­tort­ing that Puigde­mont had un­til next Mon­day to clar­ify whether or not he would press ahead with se­ces­sion and then un­til next Thurs­day to re­con­sider, oth­er­wise Madrid would act.

What Puigde­mont will do is un­clear, but var­i­ous al­lies of his are pres­sur­ing him to go down the in­de­pen­dence route.

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