Spain’s Oppn re­jects pol­icy on Cat­alo­nia

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - World -

MADRID: Tens of thou­sands of people wav­ing Spain’s red-and-yel­low flag demon­strated in Madrid on Sun­day to op­pose any con­ces­sions by the govern­ment to Cata­lan pro-in­de­pen­dence par­ties and to call for early elec­tions.

Demon­stra­tors chant­ing “Spain! Spain!” and “We want to vote!” filled the Plaza de Colon in the city cen­tre in the largest protest So­cial­ist Prime Min­is­ter Pe­dro Sanchez has faced in eight months in of­fice. The op­po­si­tion cen­tre-right and far-right par­ties called the rally, seek­ing to make a show of force against Sanchez by cap­i­tal­is­ing on anger with Cat­alo­nia’s sep­a­ratist lead­ers and the govern­ment’s ef­forts to es­tab­lish a di­a­logue with them.

The govern­ment’s pro­posal last Tues­day to ap­point a rap­por­teur in talks among po­lit­i­cal par­ties to ad­dress the Cata­lan in­de­pen­dence cri­sis gal­vanised the op­po­si­tion, which has deemed it a be­trayal and a sur­ren­der to pres­sure from Cata­lan sep­a­ratists.

“The time of Sanchez’s govern­ment has ended,” Pop­u­lar Party leader Pablo Casado told re­porters. Some ban­ners at the rally read “Sanchez, liar” and “Spain is not ne­go­tiable and can­not be sold”. Sanchez, who re­placed a con­ser­va­tive govern­ment last June in a vote of con­fi­dence, holds just a quar­ter of the seats in Par­lia­ment.

IMF READY TO SUP­PORT PAK­ISTAN: LA­GARDE

In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund chief Chris­tine La­garde met Khan on the side­lines of the sum­mit and as­sured him of sup­port. “I also high­lighted that de­ci­sive poli­cies and a strong pack­age of eco­nomic re­forms would en­able Pak­istan to re­store the re­silience of its econ­omy and lay the foun­da­tions for stronger and more in­clu­sive growth,” she said.

Khan said Pak­istan needed “painful” eco­nomic re­forms, sig­nalling a will­ing­ness to slash govern­ment spend­ing for a bailout from IMF. “Re­forms are...like a surgery...the pa­tient suf­fers but that im­proves.”

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