Elections won't solve Catalonia crisis - Spanish minister

  • 24/10/2017

Catalonia's political crisis cannot be solved simply by calling regional elections, the Spanish Justice Minister says.

"Everything is not fixed just by calling an election," Rafael Catala said during a radio interview on Tuesday.

Catala said if the regional leader of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont appeared before the Spanish upper house of parliament, the Senate, it would be a positive step in finding a solution to the conflict between the restive region and Madrid.

Catalonia is confident all officials including police will defy attempts by Madrid to enforce direct rule on the region in a dispute that is raising fears of unrest among Spain's European allies.

The Spanish government has invoked special constitutional powers to fire the regional government and force elections to counter an independence drive.

A vote in the national Senate to implement direct rule is due on Friday.

But leaders of the secessionist campaign said a referendum on October 1, in which 43 percent of the electorate voted, gave them a mandate to claim independence from the rest of Spain.