Spain offers all options in Catalonia crisis talks

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Madrid

Spain’s government vowed to examine “all options” Wednesday in a crisis cabinet meeting hours after Catalonia’s leaders said they had a mandate to declare independence but put it on hold, plunging the country into unknown territory.
And he has refused to rule out imposing direct rule over the semi-autonomous region of 7.5 million people — a move many fear could lead to unrest.
Rajoy called an emergency meeting after Catalonia’s president Carles Puigdemont announced on Tuesday that he had accepted the mandate for “Catalonia to become an independent state” following the October 1 referendum.
But in a parliamentary speech Puigdemont immediately called for independence to be suspended to allow for negotiations with the central government.
On Wednesday, a government source who refused to be named said “all options” were on the table as crisis talks were under way.—Agencies