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Rajoy speaks out over jobs and Catalonia 

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has brought forward his forecast of 20 million Spaniards in employment to 2019.

While talking to the media in the town of Ribadumia in Pontevedra, he described latest figures as “excellent” and welcomed the ruling by the Constitutional Court on the recent decision from the Parliament of Catalonia as “positive”.

Mariano Rajoy expressed great satisfaction with the unemployment figures corresponding to the month of July and predicted that, “if we keep going like this”, it will be possible to achieve the figure of 20 million people in employment a year ahead of the original forecast.

“I believe that, if we keep going like this – but a prudent approach is always advisable – we can achieve it in 2019”, he said.

The President of the Government added that this “excellent data” follows on from all the other positive results achieved during the year. He went on to say that the increase in permanent employment and in contracts for people “who have been unemployed for a long time”, together with the growing number of young people finding a job, which “is four times higher than the rest”, are especially “significant”.

The President of the Government then described the ruling by the Constitutional Court declaring the unconstitutional nature of the decision from the Parliament of Catalonia aimed at approving a law to call a referendum in 24 hours as “positive”.

“It would be an illegal act, yet another one, because what they were rightly told yesterday is that a law calling a referendum to divide Spain cannot be approved in one day”, he said.

Mariano Rajoy added that “a different scenario” would arise if the Government of Catalonia continues to maintain this position. At any event, he said, “we will continue working, defending democracy, the law and rules we all wrote together, which we are all bound to follow, whether we are political leaders, other leaders or members of the general public”.

Furthermore, the President of the Government stressed that, “it must be said – with complete calm and moderation – that there will be no referendum on 1 October”.

In this regard, and depending on the decisions adopted by the Parliament of Catalonia, he did not discard the possibility of holding an extraordinary Council of Ministers meeting in August – ahead of the scheduled date of 25 August – for the first meeting of government following the summer break.