19:39 GMT +321 October 2018
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    Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy speaks during a motion of no confidence debate in parliament in Madrid, Spain, June 13, 2017

    Spanish PM Believes in Positive Dialogue With New Catalan Gov't After Elections

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    Catalonia Declares Independence: Consequences (53)
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    Since the Catalan Independence Referendum in early October, Spain has been witnessing extensive political turmoil. However, the positive prospects for the crisis' stabilization loom large.

    MADRID (Sputnik) — On December 13, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy expressed hope for a dialogue restoration between with the new Catalan government, which is due to be formed following regional elections on December 21, and the incumbent Spanish authorities.

    While delivering a speech to the lower house of Spanish parliament Rajoy hoped for 'a normal and civilized dialogue as it has always been since 1978', noting that this was only possible with "the respect of the rules of coexistence." However, according to Rajoy, the previous government of the autonomous community violated these rules by holding a referendum, ruled illegal by the nation's Constitutional Court, and unilaterally declaring independence from Spain.

    "Some leaders decided that the [Spanish] Constitution did not pertain to their community, invented a new legislation, did not let the opposition speak and violated the decision of the court," Rajoy pointed out.

    READ MORE: Brussels Court to Decide on Ex-Catalan Leader Puigdemont Extradition to Spain

    Catalonia held its independence referendum on October 1, during which the majority of Catalans backed the community's secession from Spain. The independence declaration and the likely secession from Spain led to the dissolution of the regional parliament by the central authorities. Besides, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dismissed the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who has refused to recognize the dismissal of the government and called for "democratic resistance" after Madrid invoked Article 155 imposing direct rule over the region. In turn, Puigdemont left the country for Belgium in late October.

    In early November, the Spanish authorities issued an arrest warrant for the Catalan politician and several of his supporters. On November 17, Brussels prosecutor's office demanded that Puigdemont and the ministers be extradited to Spain. On December 7, some Catalans 45,000 took to the streets of Brussels while calling the EU to intervene for protecting basic human rights.

    Catalonia Declares Independence: Consequences (53)


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    dialogue, independence referendum, Spain's Constitutional Court, Carles Puigdemont, Mariano Rajoy, Catalonia, Spain
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