Catalonia ready to declare independence, says Carles Puigdemont

06 October, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Carles Puigdemont and Marcela Topor pose with former President of Catalonia Artur Mas and his wife Helena Rakosnik after Puigdemont was elected president in 2016

The Spanish state can also cut funding and put pressure on civil servants whom it now pays directly, having already tightened control over Catalonia's finances.

"Your decision yesterday disappointed many people in Catalonia", he added, addressing the king directly.

Separatist parties only have a slim majority of the seats in the Catalan parliament.

European Union: According to The Washington Post, the European Union saw the independence referendum as a violation of Spanish law, and anxious about how the move would affect relations between Spain and Catalonia. Parliamentary speaker Carme Forcadell said on Twitter that Puigdemont will explain the referendum result and its consequences at a session starting at 10 a.m.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy repeated the tough stance of the central government in a statement on Wednesday.

But turnout was only about 43% as Catalans who favour remaining part of Spain mainly boycotted the ballot and many polling stations were closed.

On Wednesday, Spain's IBEX stocks index .IBEX posted its biggest one-day fall since the Britain's Brexit referendum in June 2016 sparked turmoil in financial markets. Catalan lender Banco Sabadell SA fell 5.7 percent. Telecommunications giant Telelefonica, fashion retailer Inditex and leading energy companies Repsol, Iberdrola and Gas Natural also suffered significant losses.

Catalonia, Spain's wealthiest region, wedged in the northeast on the Mediterranean coast below the mountainous border with France, has its own language and culture and a growing minority there has nurtured hopes of independence for years.

Organizers said the strike would "stop the country".

Spanish police, following orders from a judge to prevent the referendum, clashed with voters and supporters Sunday, resulting in over 900 people receiving medical attention.

No Brexit Deal Would Be 'Damaging' For The UK — Liam Fox
Asked if the government should be ready to walk away, Fox said the United Kingdom was seeking an agreement but not at any price. He said that "this was a good sign because by doing that, we demonstrate how healthy and vigorous European democracy is".

The king's intervention could clear the way for Prime Minister Rajoy to act.

Minimal services will be available in Barcelona Tuesday as trade unions, students, activists and pro-independence politicians go on strike to demonstrate against the Spanish government. He told legislators in Brussels "all lines of communication must stay open".

Other politicians called on the European Union, now facing a huge challenge to its unity in Britain's impending exit from the bloc, to intervene in a deepening crisis that has shaken the euro and Spanish stocks and bonds. "Every agreement we made they broke", said Jordi Fabrega, mayor of the town of Sant Pere de Torello, which symbolically declared independence from Spain in 2012. However, the region must give up its calls for independence once both regions have agreed to a compromise and Catalonia must "return to the path of law" before the negotiations can proceed.

A declaration of independence would intensify the conflict with the central government, which along with the national courts has branded the referendum illegal.

The parliament meeting on October 9 was expected to be Puigdemont's official call for Catalonia's independence.

The European Commission called the vote illegal but said it was a domestic matter for Spain.

In Spain's worst political crisis in decades, Catalonia held an independence referendum on Sunday, although the vote was banned by Madrid.

He said Germany wasn't seeking to mediate in the dispute between Madrid and the regional government in Barcelona. "But, if someone declares independence, well we'd have to tell them that they can't".

In response, the Spanish government said it would not accept "blackmail" from the Catalan leader.

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