[00:00.00]Spain has rejected calls for talks or mediation to resolve a dispute over independence with the northeastern region of Catalonia.
[00:12.47]In a speech to parliament Wednesday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said there can be no mediation “between democratic law and disobedience and unlawfulness.”
[00:27.63]Rajoy spoke one day after Catalonia’s leader, Carles Puigdemont, announced plans to move forward with a declaration of independence from Spain.
[00:40.48]In a speech Tuesday, Puigdemont said the declaration would be carried out following results of a referendum held in Catalonia October 1.
[00:52.35]However, he said he wanted to delay the action for several weeks to allow for possible discussions with the government.
[01:02.58]Spain’s government and Constitutional Court declared the referendum illegal.
[01:09.64]Independence movement leaders said more than 90 percent of those who voted supported independence.
[01:17.54]About 43 percent of voters took part in the referendum.
[01:22.69]Opponents said they would boycott the vote.
[01:27.42]Nearly 900 people were injured in clashes with Spanish police who entered voting stations to stop people from voting.
[01:37.04]On Wednesday, Rajoy demanded that Puigdemont clarify whether or not Catalonia’s independence had been declared.
[01:46.99]The prime minister said the Catalan leader’s response would be important in deciding “events over the coming days.”
[01:56.43]Rajoy’s comments were seen as an indirect threat to Catalonia that Spain could move to limit or suspend the region’s political autonomy if independence is in fact declared.
[02:10.34]Spain’s constitution permits the central government to take some or total control of any of its 17 regions if they don't fulfill their legal obligations.
[02:24.18]The process would begin with a cabinet meeting and warning to the regional government.
[02:31.15]The Senate could then be called upon to approve the measure.
[02:36.31]The EU and most of its 28 nations have not backed Catalonia's independence movement.
[02:44.35]EU leaders have expressed support for Rajoy and called on the independence movement to “fully respect Spanish constitutional order.”
[02:55.55]Experts say EU officials are fearful that supporting Catalonia could open the door for many other independence campaigns across Europe.