(Source: www.straitstimes.com)

MADRID (AFP) – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday (Oct 11) gave Catalonia’s separatist leader five days to clarify his position on whether or not he was declaring independence.

Speaking in parliament Rajoy said Carles Puigdemont has until Monday at 10am (8pm Singapore time) “to say if he declared independence” before suspending Catalan autonomy.

“It is very important that Mr Puigdemont clarify for the rest of Spaniards if he declared independence yesterday or not,” he added.

If Puigdemont confirms his region had split from Spain, the central government would give him an additional five days, to Oct 19 at 10am, to reconsider before suspending Catalan autonomy, Rajoy added.

Puigdemont announced in the regional parliament on Tuesday that he had accepted the mandate for “Catalonia to become an independent state” following the contested referendum.

But in a parliamentary speech Puigdemont immediately called for independence to be suspended, to allow for negotiations with Madrid.

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