Catalan leader faces heat on all sides as deadline looms
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.