Scotsman. Mas cools on Catalan independence vote. 15.06.2013
By STEPHEN BURGEN IN BARCELONA
Published on 15/06/2013 02:26
Catalan independence, a matter of urgency during the election campaign last November, has been pushed on to the back burner by the region’s president.
Artur Mas, who fought a single-issue campaign around self-determination last autumn, has backed away from holding a referendum in September 2014, and has announced earlier this week that it will be held simply “within this legislature”.
The term, in the increasingly unlikely event that Mr Mas were to survive it, expires in 2016.
At a press conference in which he finally announced his political programme six months after taking office, the Catalan president said that he would not seek fast-track independence, nor make a unilateral declaration of independence, and emphasised that it was vital to enter into dialogue with the Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy.
“I don’t want to put forward the argument that ‘we don’t want this’ because it’s not a good framework, but then nor is ‘we won’t negotiate’,” Mr Mas said.
However, Mr Rajoy and his centralist Partido Popular is adamantly opposed discussing changes to the constitutional framework of the Spanish state.
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