The Spanish government has ruled out any international mediation of the ongoing secession dispute in Catalonia, insisting that there is nothing to negotiate over. They demanded Catalan leaders “respect the law” by abandoning their efforts.
On Sunday, Catalonia held a referendum in which a large majority supported secession from Spain. The Spanish government’s violent crackdown on the vote left over 800 wounded, and Catalan officials say that in absence of talks, a declaration of independence will come Monday.
Offers by Catalan President Carles Puigdemont for international mediation were based on the idea that there could be an orderly separation, but Spain appears to be precluding that, and many Catalans, angry at the weekend violence, just want to withdraw from Spain unilaterally, not trusting them enough to negotiate.
With the Spanish king accusing Catalonia of disloyalty, the environment isn’t exactly one conducive to talks anymore. Even if Spanish officials continue to insist secession is “illegal,” it’s not clear that’s going to do anything to stop Catalonia from asserting itself as a de facto state, especially with the public so overwhelmingly on the side of secession now.