Appeal to PM, king over referendum
MADRID: Catalonia’s governor and the mayor of Barcelona have appealed to Spain’s premier and king for dialogue to resolve an increasingly bitter tussle over a planned vote on regional independence, a letter showed yesterday.
Authorities in the wealthy northeastern region have pledged to call Catalans to the polls on October 1, in defiance of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who has declared the referendum illegal.
The appeal comes at the end of a week in which the state prosecutor summoned mayors for questioning, and Catalonia rebelled against Madrid’s fiscal rules.
Governor Carles Puigdemont and Mayor Ada Colau said in the letter addressed to Rajoy and also sent to King Felipe that they wanted support from the Spanish state for the referendum.
‘‘We call for . . . open and unconditional dialogue. A political dialogue, based on the legitimacy we all have, to make pos sible something that in a democracy is never a problem and even less a crime: listening to the voice of the people,’’ the officials wrote in the letter.
Two new laws clearing the way for the vote have been suspended while judges consider whether holding it would breach Spain’s constitution, which states the country is indivisible.
Most of Catalonia’s 5.5 million voters want to have a say on the region’s bid for independence from Spain. — Reuters