Spain asks Catalonia: Did you declare independence or not?

Spain’s prime minister Wednesday asked the head of the secession-minded Catalonia region the question that no one can seem to answer: Did he declare independence or not?

The demand from the Spanish government reflected more than just confusion. Clarifying Catalonia’s position is critical to map out Spain’s next move — including possible harsher measures against Catalonia if it now sees itself as a new nation.

The head scratching came a day after Catalonia’s president, Carles Puigdemont, told the Catalan parliament in Barcelona that Catalonia had the right to be an independent country following last week’s referendum that backed secession from Spain.

But Puigdemont also said that the formal declaration of independence would be delayed for several weeks to have further dialogue with Madrid. But then Puigdemont joined some lawmakers to sign a documents that some perceived as formalizing a break from Spain.

It left officials in Spain and across Europe uncertain as to what really happened.

The recent call for Catalan independence represents the biggest constitutional crisis in Spain since the end of the Franco regime in the mid-1970s. It also highlights a rising separatist tide in a troubled European Union struggling to navigate a historic migrant crisis as well as continued

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