Spain: Catalonia and Spain cross swords over the airwaves

Mas, Gallardon challenge one another on secessionist referendum

15 October, 15:53

    (ANSAmed) - MADRID, OCTOBER 15 - Catalonia will fight for its right to hold a referendum on independence all the way to the international courts if necessary, President Artur Mas told Televisio de Catalunya's TV3 channel on Monday.

    Should Spain's highest court rule the projected Catalan referendum unconstitutional, ''we will internationalize the conflict, and take it all the way to Brussels and the European courts,'' said Mas.

    The Catalan government called for early November 25 elections after the Spanish government refused to negotiate a so-called fiscal pact with the autonomous region.

    An independent Catalonia would still cooperate with Spain on economics and defense, and its autonomy would be limited by the fact that ''the EU is becoming more and more important,'' Mas said.

    Also on Monday, Spanish Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz warned Mas that he will be held personally liable for calling for a Catalan referendum on secession.

    ''If a person commits an illegal act, I don't think all Catalan citizens should be punished. We must hold that person responsible,'' the justice minister said in an interview with La Sexta, Spain's sixth nationwide broadcast TV station.

    Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution allows for Spain to suspend a region's autonomy, warned the minister. ''Mas must tell the truth, and the truth is that he cannot do what he says he will do,'' Gallardon said. (ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved