Catalan separatist politicians expect regional President Carles Puigdemont to declare independence from Spain Tuesday, a possibility that Spain is doing everything in its power to prevent.
The Catalan region has been embroiled in conflict with the Spanish central government in Madrid for much of the summer. The regional government declared a victory in an Oct. 1 independence referendum. The president is expected make an official declaration Tuesday, and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy vowed Monday to take action on the event of Catalonia making the drastic move, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“Spain will not be divided and the national unity will be preserved. We will do everything that legislation allows us to ensure this,” Rajoy told reporters. “We will prevent this independence from taking place.”
The French government has declared that it will not recognize an independent Catalonia if the northern region of Spain declares independence. The region will also forfeit its membership in the European Union if it separates.
Rajoy’s deputy, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, said Spain will not tolerate an official declaration.
“If they declare independence, there will be decisions to restore the law and democracy,” she said Monday.
Catalonia makes up 20 percent of the national economy and counts for one-quarter of Spanish exports. Its residents pay 21 percent of the nation’s taxes and receive less in return, according to CNN.
Puigdemont made his intentions clear after the Oct. 1 independence referendum, which the central government tried to suppress.
“With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form of a republic,” Puigdemont said in an address to the nation. “My government, in the next few days will send the results of today’s vote to the Catalan parliament, where the sovereignty of our people lies, so that it can act in accordance with the law of the referendum.”
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