From express.co.uk, ‘There was NO independence referendum’ Rajoy blasts ‘repugnant’ actions in Catalonia”:
SPAIN’S Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said that there was not an independence referendum in Catalonia today.
The 62-year-old leader of the conservative People’s Party (PP) declared in a TV address: “Today we have not had a referendum in Catalonia.”
The comments come after the region in the north east of the country attempted to vote on separating from the rest of the country but was met by both the national police and the Guardia Civil who attempted to disrupt millions of Catalans from going to the polling stations.
Speaking at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, the Prime Minister declared that “there was no independence referendum in Catalonia today”.
He delivered the live televised address after violence broke out in Catalonia in what the government called an “illegal” referendum.
“At this time I can tell you, with full clarity, what you all know and what we have seen today,’ he said.
“Today, we have not had a referendum for self-determination in Catalonia.
“Today, all the Spaniards have seen that our state rule of law keeps its strength and reality, and restricts those who wish to subvert the state of law, and acts with all the legal resources, vis a vis all provocations, and does it with efficacy and in a serene way.”
He also hit out at those who he said had a “strategy against democracy” and had “trampled over democratic rights” in what he saw as “ repugnant acts against democrats”.
“We cannot allow the progress of the past 40 years to be replaced by blackmail.
“Today we all have reasons to trust our democracy. This only served to hurt our coexistence. I offer dialogue within the law.”
Mr Rajoy’s comments come after more than 760 people were injured during clashes between the Guardia Civil and national police and Catalans wanting to exercise what they saw as their democratic right to decide on independence from Spain.