Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Catalonia independence declaration from Spain on hold

Catalonia independence declaration from Spain on hold

Catalan leaders say it resulted in a Yes vote for independence, saying more than 90 per cent of people voted in favour. Anti-independence voters largely boycotted the ballot and there were several reports of irregularities.

FRAYER: "Catalonia is a European affair", he said.

"Catalonia restores today its full sovereignty", it reads.

"The government and myself, we propose that Parliament suspend the effects of a declaration of independence, so that in the next few weeks we start a dialogue, without which it is not possible to get to a concerted solution", the President Puigdemont said.

A declaration of independence would deepen Spain's biggest political crisis since an attempted military coup in 1981 and would nearly certainly draw tough counter-measures from Madrid, possibly including suspension of the regional government.

"I want to ask Mr Puigdemont not to do anything irreversible, not to take a path of no return, not to carry out any unilateral declaration of independence and to return to legality", Madrid government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo told reporters.

"Neither Mr. Puigdemont nor anyone else can reach conclusions based on a law that does not exist", she said.

Crowds of thousands gathered outside the parliament building in Barcelona on Tuesday evening, waving Catalan flags and banners screaming "democracy" in the hope of witnessing a historic night in a region that remains deeply divided over independence.

"I assume the mandate of the people for Catalonia to become an independent republic", he said.

For its part, the Spanish government called an emergency Cabinet meeting for Wednesday but has not given any indications it is open to dialogue.

Tensions have only escalated since, with Spain's King Felipe VI making an unusual political intervention to say that the referendum's organizers had put themselves "outside the law".

He could deploy the "nuclear option" - an article of the constitution which enables him to sack the regional government and call an election.

In Madrid, pro-independence leaders are released after facing court on sedition accusations.

ALESSIA MARTINEZ: I think people who voted yes on the 1st of October and people who went there and were hitted by the police - they want a yes now.

He said the second of these would represent Spain's, "biggest crisis since the 1981 coup d'etat".

Still, separatist politicians say there will be a declaration of independence for the northeastern region of 7.5 million people during the Tuesday session, although some ruling coalition lawmakers say the move could be simply "symbolic". "With a Spanish state that continues to harass and persecute us?"

But it's important to note that this power has never been used and is seen as last resort.

With so much uncertainty in the air, Catalonia's top judicial official ordered additional Spanish police protection for the headquarters of the regional judiciary.

A genuine dialogue between the Spanish and Catalan authorities to resolve the standoff remains highly unlikely.

"That obviously hasn't happened", he said. But since the images of October 1 came out, Europe and the world are watching the conflict with concern.

Dr Uxo says civil unrest is much more likely than civil war, primarily because Catalonia doesn't have an army or trained personnel, but also because civil unrest would be seen as a better path towards gaining worldwide recognition for independence.

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