Spain vows 'all options' open in Catalonia crisis talks

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Spain vows 'all options' open in Catalonia crisis talks

The regional president gave a carefully worded speech last night in which he said Catalonia should be independent but that he wants dialogue first.

Demands for independence in Catalonia, one of Spain's 17 semi-autonomous regions which has its own language and cultural traditions, date back centuries.

The motion comes in the wake of the controversial referendum, which was branded "illegal" by the government in Madrid.

"In recent weeks, we have repeatedly called on the Catalan government to engage in a constructive dialogue with Madrid in line with the principle of preserving the unity of the state and with respect to the principles of autonomy, as envisaged by the Spanish constitution", Alfano was quoted as saying by his press service. "Dialogue between democrats takes place within the law", Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said.

Catalonian President Carles Fulgedemont subsequently hinted he would unveil an American-style declaration of independence, but on Tuesday backed down and instead endorsed negotiations.

At a joint appearance with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy that day, Trump said he "think [s] Spain is a great country and it should be united".

Invoking Article 155 to ease Spain's worst political crisis in four decades would make prospects of a negotiated solution even more remote.

The ongoing stand-off between Catalonia and the Spanish government in Madrid is complicated.

"We have given up absolutely nothing.We have taken a time out.which doesn't mean a step backwards, or a renunciation or anything like that", Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turull told Catalunya Radio.

Opposition parties have expressed their support over Rajoy's stance over the issue as socialist opposition leader Pedro Sanchez said that he will be supporting Rajoy if he does end up triggering Article 155 and he also agreed with the Prime Minister in opening a constitutional reform within a 6-month period in order to help Catalonia fit in Spain.

It was not clear how the Catalan government would respond to that offer.

Financial markets, however, were encouraged that an immediate declaration of independence had been avoided.

The move came after the October 1 independence referendum in which 90 per cent of participants voted in favour of splitting from Spain.

The Catalan crisis has deeply divided the region itself as well as the Spanish nation. The EU has been cool to Puigdemont's calls for European mediation.

Puigdemont said on Tuesday that millions of Catalans believe that the region should become an independent state and asked for the mandate to declare it a sovereign state.

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