Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said there would be no referendum on independence in Catalonia because the Socialist Party (PSOE) he leads “will never accept it”. EFE reports, EURACTIV partner.
Sanchez strongly rejected the possibility of a vote in a plenary session in parliament on Wednesday after explaining the government’s reasoning for granting pardon to nine convicts Catalan separatist leaders last week.
“There will be no referendum on self-determination unless its supporters manage to convince three-fifths of this House to modify Article 2 of the Constitution and the Spaniards ratify this amendment by referendum”, a- he declared.
“I can tell you now, the PSOE will never accept it,” he added.
Sanchez admitted that the pardons did not necessarily help resolve the dispute, but argued that it is obvious that the courts are not a solution in and of itself and defended his decision as a necessary political step towards reconciliation, although than “always following the law”.
He also addressed separatist MPs, some of whom supported his coalition government, stressing that pardons were only a public service and that the now-released independence politicians had been convicted of breaking the law.
[Edited by Paula Kenny]