POLITICS

Socialists warn Mas to back off from separatism

Some are trying to brew up a storm, says Rubalcaba after regional premier talks up notion of Catalan state

Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba said Sunday that his party is ready to stand up against Artur Mas and his supporters if the Catalan regional premier has any intention of trying to break away from the rest of Spain and continues to stir up conflicts between Madrid and the rest of the regions.

“Things are worse off now than they were before because there are people who want to create a lot of waves between Catalonia and Spain, and they are indeed in the process of brewing a dark storm,” Rubalcaba said during an address at so-called Rose Festival, which is sponsored by the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC).

The opposition leader said that in Catalonia “no one is trying to make trouble or squabbling” but there is “dissatisfaction concerning the problems that have deepened over time.” For that matter, the Socialist leader called on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the Popular Party (PP) to back down from their anti-Catalan discourse while at the same time warning Mas not to break “the friendly pact” between Madrid and Barcelona.

A day after thousands poured out on to Barcelona’s streets in favor of independence during Catalonia national day on Tuesday, Mas, the leader of the Catalan CiU nationalist bloc, said that the region needed to have the “structures of a state.”

“The people said that they want to be a nation and are asking to have their own state in order to progress,” Mas said.

Rubalcaba said that he respected the position of Catalan independence supporters but added that Catalonia “will emerge from this [economic] crisis with the rest of Spain and Europe or it will fail.”

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