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Catalan president lives outside law: Spain's Deputy Prime Minister

Spain's Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, said on Wednesday evening that the President of the regional government of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, lives outside the law.

The deputy prime minister made this statement after Puigdemont gave a speech saying that the Spanish King Felipe VI's speech had disappointed many Catalans and had ignored millions of citizens in Catalonia.

She criticized Puigdemont for reminding the King's duties and his comment on the King's speech saying "with this tone you had disappointed many people who respect you".

"I ask Puigdemont to respect Spain, Catalonia and its institutions", Santamaria said, also asking Puigdemont to respect especially the Catalans, "who do not deserve to see and live what they are living".

The Spanish King Tuesday delivered a TV speech accusing the Catalan authorities of "breaking the Spanish constitution and autonomous status", saying that "with their decisions they have repeatedly broken the law systematically showing an inadmissible disloyalty to the powers of the state".

The regional government of Catalonia called for a referendum on independence on Sunday that had been declared illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court as it breached the country's constitution.

Puigdemont said in an interview with the BBC that there would be an unilateral declaration of independence "in a matter of days", meanwhile he asked for "mediation" and criticized that there was not a positive reaction to dialogue from the Spanish government.

"The government will not negotiate over anything illegal and will not accept blackmail," said a statement from Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's office.

[Source: Xinhua, Madrid, 04Oct17]

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