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​Mariano Rajoy hopes that elections on 21 December lead to a "new period of calm, normality and co-existence"

Lower House of Parliament, Madrid, Wednesday 8 November 2017
Pool Moncloa / Diego Crespo

The President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, at the Government Control Session held in the Lower House of Parliament, expressed his wish for a "mass" turnout in the elections called for 21 December and that a new panorama emerges that leads to "calm, security and certainty for citizens".

The three questions addressed to the President of the Government at the Government Control Session all referred to the application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution and the political situation in Catalonia. In this regard, Mariano Rajoy reminded the spokespersons of the PSOE [Spanish Socialist Workers' Party], Margarita Robles; of the PNV [Basque Nationalist Party], Aitor Esteban, and of Bildu, Marian Beitialarrangoitia, that the government triggered Article 155 of the Constitution "in order to restore legality, defend the rights and liberties of the citizens of Catalonia, and protect the institutions of self-governance".

Article 155, added the President of the Government, is an "exceptional mechanism", that it not triggered "on a whim", but rather when the law and the general interest are threatened or seriously harmed.

Mariano Rajoy declared that a governor cannot say that the Constitution does not prevail in his territory, cannot invent a parallel legality, and cannot unilaterally declare the independence of a part of the national territory "because that means wiping out the most fundamental values we share as a nation".

Mass participation

Pool Moncloa / Diego CrespoThe President of the Government trusts that there will be a "mass" turnout in the elections on 21 December because, in his opinion, "people are aware of the importance of these elections". He also underlined that he hopes that these elections will serve to initiate a "new political era which must necessarily be one of calm, normality and co-existence, in which the rules of the game are respected, and an era that helps bed down the continued recovery of the Spanish economy".

Mariano Rajoy stressed the need for the situation to be channelled towards continuity in working towards the main goal of this term of office, which is economic growth and job creation.

Most de-centralised State in the world

The President of the Government argued that "we have spent the last 40 years developing the State of Autonomies", and that Spain is "the most politically and administratively de-centralised State in the world with the highest level of regional public spending". To illustrate this claim, Mariano Rajoy specified that the sum assigned to the autonomous regions has gone, during this time, from "zero" to 20% of all public spending, after discounting pensions.

Non official translation