Pro-independence Catalans are now seeking to oust Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and are calling for the opposition Socialists party to form a coalition, Bloomberg News reported, citing "two people with knowledge of the outreach."
The opposition party has so far refused to come on board with the plan, the sources said, but the Catalan groups have succeeded in convincing the populist Podemos party to support the idea, and to agree to a Socialists-only government.
Rajoy leads a minority administration with 134 deputies in the 350-seat chamber, and can be toppled with a no-confidence motion passed by a majority vote. If the Socialists sign up to the plan, the alliance would have 172 seats in the chamber and would look to add the Basque Nationalists to form a majority, Bloomberg noted.
The Spanish government is already prepared for a potential move to topple Rajoy's administration. If that happens, Rajoy would trigger a general election, hoping that his stance on Catalonia would boost support for him in the rest of the country, "another person with knowledge of the government’s plans" told Bloomberg.
However, Carmen Calvo, a member of the Socialists' executive board, said that the party wants to ensure that the Spanish Constitution is observed. Spokespeople for Podemos and Catalan President Carles Puigdemont's Catalan party said they did not have knowledge of the talks.
Puigdemont is scheduled to address the legislature in Barcelona on Oct. 10, where he might declare independence, while Rajoy vowed that national unity will be maintained no matter what the Catalans do.
Catalonia's foreign affairs chief, Raul Romeva, called for talks with Spain, as more than 350,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Barcelona on Oct. 8 to voice their disapproval of splitting the country.