Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Monday proposed holding a referendum on greater autonomy for Catalonia but ruled out allowing a vote on independence.
He told Cadena SER radio that the dialogue he is encouraging between Madrid and Catalonia should lead to a vote “on the reinforcement of Catalonia’s autonomy,” El País reported.
“It is a referendum for autonomy, not for auto-determination,” he added but didn’t give a timeline for any vote.
After taking office in June, Sánchez indicated his government would take a less confrontational stance toward Catalan separatists while remaining opposed to independence for the region. He has since held talks with Catalonia’s president, Quim Torra, in a bid to defuse tensions between the two sides following last year’s illegal independence referendum, which Madrid used harsh tactics to suppress.