The Spanish government will prevent the situation, where a unilateral declaration of independence by the country’s northeastern autonomous region of Catalonia would have any outcome, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said.
On October 1, Catalonia held the independence referendum, which is not recognized by the Spanish authorities. The official results of the vote show that 90.18 percent, or more than 2.28 million voters, favored secession of Catalonia from Spain, with turnout exceeding 43 percent.
“The government will resist the situation, when any declaration of [Catalonia’s] independence would have any results,” Rajoy said in an interview with El Pais newspaper published on Saturday.
The Spanish official added that the Catalan movement aimed at obtaining more autonomy for the region should be peaceful and be conducted “within the framework of treaties.”
“Spain will be Spain and will continue to be it for a long time,” the prime minister added.
Rajoy said that the government would protect the country’s unity and sovereignty and would take all necessary steps trying to make as less harm as possible to achieve these goals.
“I would like [Catalan authorities] to abandon the idea of a unilateral declaration of independence as soon as possible or many issues will be more complicated in the future. If they abandon [the idea] they will avoid the worst case scenario… The imitation of a referendum had a negative impact on everyone. We can see the economic outcome in the tourist sphere, as well as for businesspeople,” the head of the Spanish government said.
He added that there was no such government in the world that would be engaged in a dialogue about the country’s unity against the backdrop of threats to this unity.
“It is impossible to build anything under the threat of blackmail… It is absolutely inappropriate that they [the Catalan authorities] strive for the declaration of independence to come into effect on the next day or that it would be a postponed declaration of independence,” the prime minister said.
The Catalan parliament is expected to hold a session on Tuesday, during which it might launch the process of Catalonia’s secession from Spain.