Spain: Catalan leader won't debate secession in Parliament

AP News
Posted: May 20, 2017 11:20 AM

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has rejected the Spanish government's offer to present his proposal for a regional independence referendum before Parliament.

Puigdemont says that if Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy changes his position and agrees to allow the referendum, he would present such an agreement to the Catalan regional parliament.

Puigdemont has pledged to hold a vote on secession by September even without clearance by the central government.

Rajoy's government has consistently said an independence referendum is illegal. Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria on Friday invited Puigdemont to debate the issue before Parliament.

Parliament would need to amend Spain's constitution to allow the referendum.

Puidgemont is to speak on the issue Monday at a private conference in Madrid's town hall.