Spain PM: Socialist Party will ‘never’ endorse independence vote in Catalonia

Madrid, Jun 30 (EFE).- Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez asserted Wednesday that there will not be an independence referendum in Catalonia because the Socialist Party (PSOE) he leads “will never ever accept it.”

Sanchez firmly shot down the possibility of a vote during a plenary session in Parliament after explaining the government’s reasoning for granting pardons to nine convicted Catalan separatist leaders last week, a decision most of the country was against.

“There will be no referendum on self-determination unless its advocates manage to convince three fifths of this Chamber to modify the Constitution’s article 2 and Spaniards ratify that amendment through a referendum,” he said.

“I can tell you now, the PSOE will never ever accept it.”

Sanchez conceded the pardons do not necessarily help resolve the dispute, but he argued it is evident that tribunals are not a solution on their own and defended his decision as a necessary political step towards reconciliation, although “always following the law.”

He also addressed separatist deputies, some of whom have backed his coalition government, as he stressed that the pardons were only a public utility and the now released pro-independence politicians had been convicted for violating the law. EFE


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