Spanish PM dismisses 'authoritarian' Catalan vote plan


As the conflict over Catalan independence continues, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday again promised to frustrate separatist plans to form a new state.

"The authoritarian delirium will never be able to defeat the calm and balance of our democratic state," Rajoy told the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Madrid.

"Spain is a great country because it has the energy of many moderate and democratic Spaniards and Catalans, who are more forgotten every day because of this radical and divisive turn.

"So, to all of these Catalans and to all of the Spanish, I want to tell you to continue to trust in the future," he added.

Rajoy's comments come a day after Catalonia's ruling pro-independence parties unveiled a draft of a new law regarding the wealthy north-eastern region's proposed independence referendum.

In it, they outline the possibility of declaring independence from Spain within 48 hours if a majority of Catalans opt for independence in the vote they aim to hold on Oct. 1.

If Catalans vote 'No' to independence, new elections would be called.

The proposed law will be submitted to the Catalan regional parliament in August, where two separatist parties hold a majority.

However, the Spanish central government is unwavering on its vow to prevent the referendum from taking place.

Spain's Supreme Court has already quashed another motion passed in the Catalan parliament regarding the road to independence and has begun prosecuting separatist leaders for their roles in the region's 2014 non-binding referendum.

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