- Thursday, October 12, 2017 1:11 PM
Madrid, 12 October 2017 (MIA) - Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has reacted to the Spanish ultimatum to backtrack on his independence plans or face a suspension of regional powers, tweeting "We demand dialogue and the response is to put article 155 on the table. Message understood."
The separatist leader was referring to the clause that triggers never-used constitutional powers that Spain's conservative government has threatened to invoke if the independence bid is not dropped before an Oct. 19 deadline, AP reported.
Puigdemont had earlier proposed to regional lawmakers to freeze the implementation of secession to allow time for negotiating independence with Spain. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has rejected any dialogue as long as secession is on the table.
The only other acknowledgement of Madrid's warning came from Puigdemont's deputy, Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras, who tweeted to Rajoy: "A sincere dialogue is what the international community wants and what Catalonia expects, not confrontation and new threats." ba/13:10
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