Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont came under pressure from one of his key allies on Friday to declare full independence and ignore a threat of direct rule from the Spanish government.
The Catalan leader made a symbolic declaration of independence on Tuesday night, only to suspend it seconds later and called for negotiations with Madrid.
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has given him until Monday to clarify his position – and then until Thursday to change his mind if he insists on a split – threatening to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy if he chooses independence.
But far-left Catalan political group CUP called on Puigdemont to make an unequivocal declaration of independence in defiance of the deadlines.
The Party said to their leader: “If (the central Madrid government) wants to continue to threaten and gag us, they should do it to the Republic that has already been claimed”.
Although the CUP only holds 10 seats in the 135-seat Catalan parliament, Puigdemont’s minority government relies on its support to push through legislation and cannot win a majority vote in the regional parliament with its backing.
The wealthy region’s intention to break away after a referendum has plunged Spain into its worst political crisis since an attempted military coup in 1981.
The CUP statement echoes the position expressed late on Thursday by influential pro-independence civic group Asamblea Nacional Catalana which said, “Given the negative position of Spain toward dialogue, we ask the regional parliament to raise the suspension (on the declaration of independence).”
But the leader of Puigdemont’s party, Artur Mas, who served as the region’s president until 2016 and is still believed to influence key decisions, said on Friday declaring independence was not the only way forward.
He told newsmen, “If a state proclaims itself independent and cannot act as such, it’s an independence that is merely aesthetic.
“The external factor must be taken into account in the decisions that will be made from now on.”