The minister for Business and Skills, Santi Vila, has resigned his role in the Catalan government. Vila decided to leave office given the expectation that the Catalan Parliament will declare independence tomorrow, as suggested today by the parliamentary groups JxSí (Together For Yes, which Vila is a member of) and CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy). In fact, he had already informed the president, Carles Puigdemont, that this would be his response if the executive decided to proclaim independence.
The minister handed his resignation to the president shortly before 10pm this Thursday, just after leaving the Parliament before sending a tweet explaining his decision.
Dimiteixo. Els meus intents de diàleg novament han fracassat. Espero haver estat útil fins l’últim minut al president @KRLS i als catalans— Santi Vila (@SantiVila) 26 octobre 2017
Translation: I'm resigning. My attempts at dialogue have failed again. I hope to have been useful to the end to president Puigdemont and the Catalan people.
In fact, after the Parliament ended for the day, the president and minister could be seen leaving together walking down the stairs.
Later, he published a statement explaining the reasons for his position. "In light of recent events and the decisions that president Puigdemont will see himself obliged to take in the coming hours, I've presented my resignation as minister of Business and Skills," it starts.
The minister expresses his regret that the "path of dialogue and negotiation" which he always argued for has failed and ended up delegitimised. "My plans have ended up disallowed by reality," he says.
In the note, Vila repeats that he has tried to serve the president "with honesty, loyalty and sincerity" in circumstances which have been "truly difficult" and that he is now led to resigning for reasons of "personal conscience".
At the same time, he "absolutely" condemns the imposition of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution and the intervention in Catalan autonomy, but warns that this act "doesn't justify ploughing straight ahead".