Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Friday that he found it “impossible” to continue any dialogue with Artur Mas because the Catalan premier has taken “unilateral decisions” by pushing through a motion in the regional parliament to ask the national Congress for permission to hold a status referendum this year.
“What I am seeing here is the continuing process of unilateral decisions, which make it impossible for dialogue,” he said at a joint news conference with European Commission José Manuel Durão Barroso in Madrid.
The Catalan parliament passed the measure on Thursday with a 87 to 43 vote.
The prime minister took advantage of Durão Barroso’s presence to remind reporters that both Catalonia and Scotland will remain outside the European Union should voters in those regions vote in favor of independence.
For his part, Barroso reiterated that the Catalan issue was a Spanish “internal matter” which he described as “sensitive.” Without specifically talking about Catalonia or Scotland, the EC president said that any region that breaks away from a member state must go through the process of reapplying for EU membership, which must be approved unanimously by all countries in the bloc.