This afternoon the National Pact for the Referendum will meet and if there are no last-minute changes, Carles Puigdemont’s government will announce the date and the question of the consultation. The rejection from the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, to negotiate and accept the hand extended to him by Puigdemont in the conference held in Madrid and in the letter he then sent, mark the end of the possibilities of an agreed-to referendum. Although the government still repeats at every moment that it is open to dialogue “until the last minute of extra time” the clock is moving towards the point where there is no alternative for a referendum on self-determination other than the unilateral approach.
The response by the central government to the reply from the Venice Commission put an end to most doubts. Madrid will stick to the letter of the law and will not accept any political debate.
Puigdemont is expected to announce the date and the question in a solemn ceremony, presumably at the Palau de la Generalitat, between Wednesday and Friday and the referendum could take place either on October 1 or 8.
The president has reiterated that the question will be clear and avoid any ambiguity in the meaning itself. The objections regarding the question from political parties in the N9 vote urge caution.
The pro-independence parties still feel there is enough time to gain the support of els Comúns and this afternoon’s meeting is aimed at doing just that. At the meting the government will make every effort to prove that its hope of dialogue with Madrid has ended and no alternative remains.