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Madrid Asks Catalonia to Explain Whether It Has Declared Independence

Madrid Asks Catalonia to Explain Whether It Has Declared Independence

Puigdemont's proposal to suspend the declaration of independence to allow for negotiations pulled the region back from the brink of an unprecedented showdown with Madrid but drew criticism from both the Spanish government and the leader of the opposition in the Catalan Parliament.

Rajoy gave Puigdemont until Monday to clarify whether the declaration of independence is real - and, if it is, until October 19, eight days from now, to either back down or be deposed.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has responded by asking the Catalan government to clarify whether or not it has declared actual independence.

The Spanish expect their prime minister to do more than just hide behind the shield of the constitution.

Thus Catalonia finds itself in constitutional limbo, as the Spanish Government announces it has requested clarification on whether or not the Catalan Government has actually declared independence. Earlier on Wednesday he proposed during an interview with CNN that a mediator be named to settle the crisis.

In a highly anticipated speech on Tuesday night, Mr Puigdemont said the landslide victory in a disputed October 1 referendum gave his government in the regional capital, Barcelona, the grounds to implement its long-held desire to break century-old ties with Spain.

Spain's political establishment rounded on Puigdemont following the declaration, and support among separatists in Catalonia was mixed. "We are normal people who ask to be allowed to vote and who have been ready for all the dialogue necessary to achieve it in an agreed way".

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"The answer from the Catalan president will determine future events, in the next few days", he also said, adding he would keep acting in a "cautious and responsible" way.

She said Puigdemont was "a person who doesn't know where he is, where he's going or with whom he wants to go".

"We call on worldwide states and organisations to recognise the Catalan republic as an independent and sovereign state", he said.

In the end, the speech by the president of the "Generalitat de Catalunya" largely remained faithful to the arguments he had made in recent months, though he did go further when he said that the recent exit of companies from Catalonia would have no "significant impact" on the Catalan economy.

Addressing the Catalan Parliament in Barcelona, Puigdemont said the autonomous region had won the right to be independent as a result of the vote.

But on Wednesday morning, the Spanish stock market rose 1.16 percent on hopes for a breakthrough in the crisis.

Catalonia is a region in north-east Spain.