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Prime Minister calls for mass turn-out in regional elections 

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Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is hoping regional elections on December 21st will lead to a “new period of calm, normality and co-existence” as the Catalonia independence row continues to rage.

He has called for a mass turn-out and said the Government had triggered Article 155 of the Constitution “in order to restore legality, defend the rights and liberties of the citizens of Catalonia, and protect the institutions of self-governance”.

Article 155, added the President of the Government, is an “exceptional mechanism”, that it not triggered “on a whim”, but rather when the law and the general interest are threatened or seriously harmed.

Mariano Rajoy declared that a governor cannot say that the Constitution does not prevail in his territory, cannot invent a parallel legality, and cannot unilaterally declare the independence of a part of the national territory “because that means wiping out the most fundamental values we share as a nation”.

The Prime Minister said he hoped people were aware of the importance of these elections.

He also underlined that he hopes that these elections will serve to initiate a “new political era which must necessarily be one of calm, normality and co-existence, in which the rules of the game are respected, and an era that helps bed down the continued recovery of the Spanish economy”.

Mariano Rajoy stressed the need for the situation to be channelled towards continuity in working towards the main goal of this term of office, which is economic growth and job creation.

Earlier, at a press briefing, he said the recent events in Catalonia had “put the European values of democracy, the rule of law and legal certainty in particular jeopardy; three fundamental values at the heart of the European construction project.”