Spain warns it will act if Catalonia declares independence
11 October, 2017, 00:21 | Author: Ora Austin
"I'm calling on the sensible people in the Catalan government.don't jump off the edge because you'll take the people with you", Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamara said. It contributes much more in taxes (21% of the country's total) than it gets back from the central government.
If forced to apply independently for European Union membership, Catalonia would have to convince all of the bloc's current members, including Spain, to agree.
This protest is likely to add to the already mounting pressure on Catalan President Carles Puigdemont who is already facing an uphill battle to declare Catalonia's independence and secession from Spain. "In history, declarations of independence by Catalonia have fared very badly".
A Catalan Parliament spokesperson told CNN that a new session had been called for Tuesday at 6 p.m. (12:00 p.m. ET), in which Puigdemont is expected to update members on the "current political situation".
Protests against an independent Catalonia were held across Spain over the weekend with an estimated 350,000 taking to the streets of Barcelona.
European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, asked about the economic impact of the Catalan debate, said the Spanish constitutional order must be respected. "It seems that the one who yells the most wins the argument".
As NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from Barcelona, Catalonia's capital, the people in the region are almost evenly divided over the issue of independence even though many who are in favor of staying with Spain may not have voted in the referendum. But it also found further backing on Monday when the opposition leader Pedro Sánchez, head of the Socialist party, finally confirmed that his party would "stand by the [Spanish] state" if a declaration of independence materialised.
However, hundreds of thousands of people have turned out for anti-independence rallies, including in Catalonia's capital, Barcelona, since the vote. But the turnout was 43%, and many other residents want the region to remain a part of Spain.
The Madrid government, grappling with Spain's biggest political crisis since an attempted military coup in 1981, made it clear that it would respond immediately to any such unilateral declaration.
Despite the outrage, Rajoy and Spanish King Felipe VI defended the police and doubled down on their stance to take whatever measures necessary to keep Catalonia from seceding.
Around 900 people were injured when officers used rubber bullets and batons against voters at polling stations. Rajoy assured Catalan leaders that there "is still time" to backtrack and avoid triggering a tough response from the central government in Madrid.
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