Catalan independence 'needs large majority'
Spain's prime minister has said that only a solution supported by a large majority of Catalans, and which is legal under the Spanish constitution, will resolve the crisis over whether Catalonia should secede or remain part of Spain.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told the Barcelona newspaper 'La Vanguardia' what "is needed is a wide consensus that right now doesn't exist in Catalonia".
Voters in the wealthy north-eastern region were evenly split in supporting parties for and against secession when the last regional election was held a year ago. However, the separatist politicians who prevailed in that vote insist on pursuing a break.
While Catalonia's regional government wants a binding referendum on independence, Mr Sanchez is urging them to work with counterparts who favour unity with Spain on drafting a new charter law, one that significantly more than half of the region's 7.4 million residents would support.
"We have always said that we can find a solution to the Catalan political crisis within the constitution," Mr Sanchez said.
Many separatists have said a new charter wouldn't be enough to satisfy the region's demands for autonomy, saying independence was the only answer.