Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government on Friday asked Catalan lawmakers to “reflect” over a sovereignty vote petition they will be debating later this month while at the same time telling regional premier Artur Mas and his coalition partners that they are “wasting time and money” on their drive for independence.
Following the weekly Cabinet meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said that the central government will “comply with the Constitution and ensure that others also comply.”
The Catalan nationalist CiU bloc and its parliamentary partner, the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), should concern themselves about issues such as unemployment because “above any government are the needs of the citizens,” she said.
“In Catalonia the people are living a very difficult and long crisis and instability doesn’t help,” the deputy prime minister said.
On Thursday, the Mas regional government and the ERC began handing out a petition to opposition lawmakers calling for a vote on independence next year. The document asks the parliament “to declare democratic, political and legal sovereignty” so that the people can decide in a plebiscite. The petition will be presented on January 23.
“They are losing time and money for a process that they know isn’t constitutional,” she said.