Spain’s Prime Minister Won’t Negotiate on Referendum

MADRID (AP) — A Spanish government spokesman says that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy can’t discuss with Catalan authorities what could make him agree to a referendum on the region’s secession because the law simply doesn’t allow it.

Officials in Catalonia and the northeastern region’s capital, Barcelona, asked in a letter released on Friday for fresh dialogue on holding the vote with the government’s permission.

“The Prime Minister can’t make something illegal into something legal,” said Inigo Mendez de Vigo, who is Minister of Culture and the spokesman for Rajoy’s cabinet, when asked about the letter.

The central government says that a constitutional reform through a strong majority in the national parliament is the only avenue for a legal referendum.

Separatist politicians have vowed to hold the vote on Oct. 1 despite a ban by the country’s courts.

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