Catalonia: Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy asks Carles Puigdemont to clarify whether he has declared independence or not

Catalonia independence declaration is signed and temporarily suspended

The declaration was signed by the Catalan president and regional leaders on Tuesday

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has sent his Catalan counterpart Carles Puigdemont a formal request to clarify whether or not he declared independence yesterday.

Speaking in the Catalan Parliament yesterday, Puigdemont said he is committed to achieving independence for his region, but said he was prepared to negotiate with Madrid rather than triggering a unilateral declaration.

The speech sparked much confusion, with many outlets claiming that Puigdemont had declared independence and others claiming he had not.

Earlier, it was reported that Rajoy was ready to send a formal request for clarification to his Catalan counterpart.

According to conservative website El Espanol, the request would "demand that Puigdemont give a precise and concrete clarification of whether he respects the route of legality, or whether he places himself outside the constitutional legal system." 

Puigdemont's statement yesterday comes in the wake of the region's controversial referendum on October 1, which the government in Madrid labeled "illegal" and "unconstitutional."

The Catalan leader called for his region to be granted the rights of an "independent and sovereign state," while urging the reduction of tensions which have been bubbling since the vote.

Violence was seen on camera during the voting process as national police attempted to prevent locals from voting in the referendum.