Just a day after Catalonia’s leader Carles Puigdemont made a symbolic declaration on the referendum for independence and put the ball back in the Spanish government’s court, the Spanish stocks saw a rebound in European shares this morning.
Media reports state that Spain’s benchmark IBEX rose by 1.6 per cent, outperforming the pan-European STOXX 600 index which was just 0.1 per cent higher in early deals.
Earlier today, the Spanish government also called for an urgent meeting to discuss its next steps to halt the northeastern region of Catalonia from proceeding with a declaration of independence.
While Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is yet to make a public statement regarding Puigdemont’s address on Tuesday, the Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria has stated that “neither Mr. Puigdemont nor anybody else can claim… to impose mediation. Any dialogue between democrats has to take place within the law.”
In a widely-anticipated speech on Tuesday, Catalan president Puigdemont had told the regional parliament that the people of Catalonia had won the right to independence following the referendum vote on October 1 where almost 90% of voters had backed independence from Spain.
But because the turnout was just 43%, the voting was deemed illegal and suspended by Spain’s Constitutional Court.
Adressing the parliament yesterday, Puigdemont had asked to suspend the majority “yes” vote in favor of independence and called for a dialogue with the Spanish government: “We are all part of the same community and we need to go forward together. The only way forward is democracy and peace.”
The leader also criticised the system by saying that Catalonia was being denied the right to self-determination, and paying too much taxes to the central government in Madrid.
Spanish Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis, has criticised the leader’s speech as a “trick to say one thing and do the opposite.”