Spanish PM: Solution for Catalonia is forging a consensus

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spain's prime minister says the solution to the separatist crisis in Catalonia is forging a consensus shared by most Catalans regarding the region's status as part of Spain.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tells the Barcelona-based newspaper La Vanguardia on Sunday that what "is needed is a wide majority of society that right now doesn't exist in Catalonia."

Elections last year showed that the 7.4 million residents of the wealthy northeastern region are evenly split on the secession question.

While Catalonia's separatist leaders want a binding referendum on independence, Sanchez is proposing that they work with Catalan unionists to agree upon a new charter law for the region.

Sanchez says "the first thing we have to do is develop a way to reform the (charter law for Catalonia) so it could be a solution."