MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy pledged Wednesday to firmly defend the country's national sovereignty and prevent Catalonia's secession.
"I will defend firmly and proportionally the unity of Spain and the rights of all Spaniards…. National sovereignty can not be divided or fragmented," Rajoy said.
The secessionist motion in the Catalan parliament was facilitated by the victory of the pro-independence Catalan Junts pel Si (Together for Yes) coalition and their allies from the radical left-wing Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) in the regional election in September. The broad-coalition secured 72 seats in the 135-member regional parliament.
Catalonia has long sought independence from Spain, but the Spanish government has repeatedly and forcefully declined Catalonia’s right to independence.