SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has described Catalonia’s symbolic vote on independence as a “deep failure.”
In a press conference at La Moncloa Palace in the capital, Madrid, on Wednesday, Rajoy reiterated that a real referendum cannot be held under Spain’s constitution, but added that he was open to legislative reforms to answer Catalan demands.
“We have witnessed a deep failure for the independence movement,” the Spanish premier said, adding that constitutional reform was “the only legal and responsible course.”
Catalans voted in the symbolic referendum on independence from Spain on November 9. The regional Catalan government pushed forward with the vote despite Spain’s Constitutional Court ordering its suspension on November 4.
According to regional officials, more than 2.2 million people, out of a total electorate of 5.4 million, participated in the vote.
The non-binding vote does not automatically lead to the secession of the region, but only gives the Catalan president the mandate to negotiate independence with the Spanish administration.
Catalonia moved toward greater autonomy in 2006 when it formally adopted a charter that assigned it the status of a nation. However, the nationhood claim was overruled by Spain’s Constitutional Court in 2010.
Demands for independence in Catalonia have grown in recent years despite Madrid’s resistance.
Many Catalans believe the region’s economy would be more prosperous on its own, complaining that a high portion of their taxes goes to the central government in Madrid.