Rajoy sets deadline for Catalonia's leader

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Because of this, Catalonia recently suspended the implementation of its independence declaration even though the document has already been signed by President Carles Puigdemont and other leaders to allow for talks to take place with the Spanish central government in Madrid. The European Union, according to Enric Folch, the global secretary of the Catalan Solidarity for Independence coalition, would be the choice of "common sense" since Catalonia and Spain are now members of the eurozone, and independence would remove Catalonia from its membership.

For Spain, Puigdemont simply has to say one of two words in his response. Rajoy has also said that Spain doesn't need worldwide mediators to get involved.

It will be clear whether independence is a success in the following week when the deadline imposed by Spain to declare independence will run out and there will inevitably be a confrontation between Catalonia and Madrid. If he refuses to, or doesn't answer, Rajoy has threatened to trigger for the first time a constitutional article that could give central authorities power to intervene directly in Catalonia.

The words of Mas arrive after CUP has sent a letter to Puigdemont in which it asks proclamation of Catalan Republic, in same line that was expressed on Thursday ANC.

"It doesn't make sense to keep the suspension of the independence declaration" given Madrid's rejection of any dialogue, ANC said in the statement. The Catalan government hasn't given any signal of what it intends to do, but Catalan media reported that meetings were being held Friday.

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Rajoy has emphatically ruled out the prospect of external mediation and told the Catalan government it will face consequences for ignoring the Spanish constitution and pressing ahead with the referendum in defiance of Spain's constitutional court. The vote reportedly had a 43 percent turnout, and national police had to intervene in incidents of violence. Catalonia said 90 percent favored secession and it declared the results valid.

The Spanish economy could grow less than initially expected in 2018 due to uncertainty over Catalonia, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sainz de Santamaria said on Friday.

Since the EU press release, Jean Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, stated that the Commission will not mediate if only one side wants dialogue.

Juncker said on Friday that it was a Spanish issue rather than an European Union one but that if "Catalonia splits off, then others will do that too".

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