The application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to Catalonia, intervening in its autonomy, would be "unconstitutional". That's the message from the Spanish government the day after other members of the PSOE passed a bill in the Extremaduran Assembly calling for just such a measure. "It would be unconstitutional to think now of applying [article] 155", warned spokesminister Isabel Celaá in the press conference after today's cabinet meeting. "It would be a clear usurpation of autonomous power," she said.
"At this time, nobody who reflects deeply will continue calling for the application of article 155 with the circumstances we have on the table," said Celaá. She suggested, however, that their colleagues in Extremadura voted in favour of the measure when the law is broken and that the government is "looking to get the crisis back on track".
Celaá also announced that next Friday there will be a meeting between Spanish deputy prime minister Carmen Calvo and the Catalan vice-president, Pere Aragonès, and minister Elsa Artadi in Barcelona, to settle details of the negotiations between the parties. As a point of reference, she suggested the talks president Quim Torra has promoted with different Catalan parties. She hopes that Ciudadanos, PP and CUP will also join these new conversations.
As for the stalled negotiations for the budget with pro-independence parties, once again she repeated that the government will make no gestures when it comes to the political prisoners or the right to self-determination. "The budget's strength is in its content and that's where we have to meet", she said, "there won't be any other incentives".