Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has walked back his promise of constitutional reform, saying in a radio interview, “I have never been a supporter of reforming the Constitution. I’m prepared to listen, but not to go against unity or sovereignty.”
His only concession was to agree the current model of autonomous communities needs to be “evaluated” — but that could mean different things:
Left-wing parties argue for something close to federation, perhaps even with a right to self-determination for the Basques and Catalans.
Nationalists on the right, who felt Rajoy didn’t intervene strongly enough to disrupt the October 1 independence referendum in Catalonia, argue for centralization. Read more
The unstoppable force of Catalan separatism is about to meet the unmovable object that is Mariano Rajoy.
The Spanish prime minister and conservative party leader has vowed to prevent an independence referendum in the northeastern region at all costs. The Catalans are determined to vote anyway.
Neither side will be able to claim victory on Monday.
Rajoy may succeed in blocking the vote, but his intransigence has already convinced moderate Catalans there isn’t a future for them in Spain. The separatists may manage to organize a referendum, but it will be so marred by illegality and irregularity that the outcome cannot possibly be considered a mandate to break away. Read more
Rajoy’s Attitude Makes Catalan Secession More Likely
Whatever happened to Mariano Rajoy’s willingness to talk?
In February, he offered to hear out Catalan demands for self-government except one: holding a binding independence referendum.
Now instead of sitting down with Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan president, Rajoy has avoided meeting him in Madrid and challenged him to what could only be a fruitless debate in the national parliament. Read more
Rajoy’s Confirmation Hinges on Socialist Abstention
Spain’s caretaker prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, is due to seek parliament’s support for a second term on Tuesday but knows that his chances are slim.
“There is a serious risk of having to call a third election in the same year,” he warned supporters of his conservative People’s Party in Galicia this weekend.
Spaniards returned to the polls in June after the parties failed to put together a coalition government in the wake of the election in December. Neither major party commands an absolute majority, however, and the left-wing Socialists have said they will not vote for the right-wing Rajoy. If they refuse to budge, a third election may be inevitable. Read more
Rajoy Gets Closer to Second Term as Liberals May Abstain
Spain’s acting prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, edged closer to winning a second term on Tuesday when the head of the fourth largest party in parliament suggested they might abstain in a confirmation vote.
Albert Rivera, the leader of the liberal Ciudadanos, told reporters after a meeting with Rajoy that the country needs to “get moving” and cannot have a third election.
“We’re not going to be in government,” he said, “but we’re realistic, responsible and constructive.” Read more