Opposition backs Spanish government's drive to reform autonomy laws

Spain's two main parties have agreed to renegotiate laws governing autonomy amid Catalonia's independence bid, Madrid's opposition leader said.

Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez said a deal was reached with Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy to open talks in six months on reforming the constitution that would allow changes to the current set-up governing Spain's 17 regions, including Catalonia.

Mr Sanchez said his party wanted the constitutional reform to "allow for Catalonia to remain a part of Spain".

Mr Sanchez said his party is backing Mr Rajoy, who leads the ruling Popular Party, in pursuing clarification from the Catalan regional leader over whether independence for the northeastern prosperous region was declared on Tuesday.

Mr Sanchez said Catalan president Carles Puigdemont needs to put it in "black and white" what his plans are.


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