16:24 GMT28 February 2020
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    The Spanish government will be waiting for a response on Catalonia's status from the region's government until Thursday. Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis has commented on the delay of the Catalan government to proclaim the independence of the region.

    MADRID (Sputnik) — The Spanish government is not satisfied with the response of the Catalan government's President Carles Puigdemont to the requirement to clarify whether the Catalan government has proclaimed independence, Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said Monday.

    "The letter that we have received does not correspond to the requirements. The government, as the 10:00 a.m. [Madrid time, 8:00 GMT] deadline expired, will respond," Dastis said at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxemburg, as quoted by the eldiario.es online newspaper.

    The stance of the Spanish government on Puigdemont's response was also confirmed by Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catala.

    "The letter that we have received does not answer the question," Catala said.

    Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Maria Soraya Saenz de Santamaria has reiterated the Spanish government expected the Catalan president to respond whether or not he declared independent by Thursday.

    "The government expects that [Catalan President Carles] Puigdemont clearly responds in the time left until the second deadline… Nobody is refusing to hold a dialogue with the head of the Generalitat, but it should be within the framework of the law," she said.

    Later, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called on Puigdemont to speak in the Spanish parliament and explain his stance on the independence issue.

    On October 2, Puigdemont stated that the Catalan independence referendum's results enabled the proclamation of the autonomy's independence, but suggested suspending the declaration of independence for several weeks in order to engage in dialogue with the Spanish authorities. The same day, Puigdemont and other lawmakers, supporting Catalonia's independence, signed an independence declaration.

    The next day, the Spanish Council of Ministers sent a request to the Catalan authorities, asking them to clarify whether the Catalan government had proclaimed independence. The deadline for Puigdemont's response was on Monday morning. The Spanish authorities vowed to invoke Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, that might limit the self-governance of the autonomous region, in case if they receive an unsatisfactory response or no response at all.

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    Tags:
    referendum, Alfonso Dastis, Catalonia, Spain
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