World News

Spanish foreign minister calls Catalonia's leader speech a 'trick'

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont arrives at the Catalan regional parliament in Barcelona, Spain, October 10, 2017. REUTERS/Albert Gea

PARIS (Reuters) - The independence speech made by Catalonia’s leader was a “trick”, Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said on Wednesday, although he said there was room for negotiations within the frame of Spain’s constitution.

Carles Puigdemont’s speech to the Catalan parliament on Tuesday was “a trick to say one thing and do the opposite,” Dastis told French radio station Europe 1.

Puigdemont leader balked at making a formal declaration of independence from Spain on Tuesday, calling for talks with Madrid over the region’s future in a gesture that eased fears of immediate unrest in the heart of the euro zone.

Asked about the possibility of organise another referendum in Catalonia, Dastis said that Spain’s constitution does not allow it.

“We cannot accept that a portion of the Catalans decide for the whole of Spain,” he said.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Sudip Kar-Gupta Editing by Jeremy Gaunt