Spain’s prime minister has proposed holding a referendum in Catalonia on greater autonomy for the wealthy region but ruled out allowing a vote on independence as demanded by Catalan leaders.
Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez — who since coming to power in June has attempted to defuse tensions over Catalonia’s independence drive by holding talks with the region’s separatist president Quim Torra — told radio Cadena Ser that dialogue should lead to “a vote… on the reinforcement of Catalonia’s autonomy”.
“It is a referendum for autonomy, not for self-determination,” he added, without giving a timeline for the proposed vote.
But Torra, who was being interviewed at the same time by Catalan public television, said “Catalonia’s right to self-determination could not be swept under the carpet.”
“The independence process is irreversible,” he told the station, Presstv Reported.