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Montevideo, September 22nd 2018 - 19:03 UTC

Catalonia “closer to statehood”; Rajoy calls Spanish political parties to discuss the situation

Monday, October 2nd 2017 - 09:23 UTC
Full article 16 comments
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said on Sunday that the Spanish region has won the right to statehood following the contentious violent referendum Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said on Sunday that the Spanish region has won the right to statehood following the contentious violent referendum
On Monday president Rajoy will hold talks with Spanish parties to discuss a response to the biggest political crisis Spain has seen in decades On Monday president Rajoy will hold talks with Spanish parties to discuss a response to the biggest political crisis Spain has seen in decades
“With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form a republic,” Mr Puigdemont said 
“With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form a republic,” Mr Puigdemont said
The Catalan government said more than 800 people had been injured in clashes including people who suffered relatively minor complaints such as anxiety attacks. The Catalan government said more than 800 people had been injured in clashes including people who suffered relatively minor complaints such as anxiety attacks.
Meanwhile the Spanish interior ministry said 12 police officers had been hurt and three people arrested. It added that 92 polling stations had been closed. Meanwhile the Spanish interior ministry said 12 police officers had been hurt and three people arrested. It added that 92 polling stations had been closed.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said on Sunday that the Spanish region has won the right to statehood following a contentious referendum that was marred by violence. He said the door had been opened to a unilateral declaration of independence. Catalan officials later said 90% of those who voted backed independence in Sunday's vote. The turnout was 42.3%.

 Spain's constitutional court had declared the poll illegal and hundreds of people were injured as police used force to try to block voting. Officers seized ballot papers and boxes at polling stations.

On Monday the government in Madrid is scheduled to hold talks with Spanish parties to discuss a response to the biggest political crisis Spain has seen in decades

“With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form a republic,” Puigdemont said in a televised address flanked by other senior Catalan leaders.

“My government, in the next few days will send the results of today's vote to the Catalan parliament, where the sovereignty of our people lies, so that it can act in accordance with the law of the referendum.”

He said the European Union could no longer “continue to look the other way”.

In another development, more than 40 trade unions and Catalan associations called a region-wide strike on Tuesday due to “the grave violation of rights and freedoms”.

Earlier, as voting ended, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Catalans had been fooled into taking part in an illegal vote. He called it a “mockery” of democracy.

“At this hour I can tell you in the strongest terms what you already know and what we have seen throughout this day. There has not been a referendum on self-determination in Catalonia,” he said.

Rajoy called to meet with all Spanish political parties to discuss the country’s future following the referendum. He also thanked security forces for upholding the law and doing their job.

Large crowds of independence supporters gathered in the centre of Barcelona on Sunday evening, waving flags and singing the Catalan anthem. Anti-independence protesters have also held rallies in Barcelona and other Spanish cities.

The Catalan government said more than 800 people had been injured in clashes across the region. Those figures included people who had suffered relatively minor complaints such as anxiety attacks.

Meanwhile the Spanish interior ministry said 12 police officers had been hurt and three people arrested. It added that 92 polling stations had been closed.

Police used batons and fired rubber bullets during pro-referendum protests in Barcelona, and Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said police had “acted with professionalism and in a proportionate way”.

In Gerona, riot police smashed their way into a polling station where Puigdemont was due to vote, and forcibly removed those inside. Puigdemont voted at another station. TV footage showed riot police using batons to beat a group of firefighters who were protecting crowds in Gerona.

The national police and Guardia Civil - a military force charged with police duties - were sent into Catalonia in large numbers to prevent the vote. The Catalan police - the Mossos d'Esquadra - have been placed under Madrid's control, however witnesses said they showed little inclination to use force on protesters.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau condemned police actions against the region's “defenseless” population, but Deputy Prime Minister Saenz de Santamaria said police had “acted with professionalism and in a proportionate way”.

Overnight Catalonia's government claimed a turnout of 2.2 million people - not far off half of the electorate. It also said that 90% voted “yes” for independence from Spain. But given the chaotic nature of the vote, all figures should be taken with great caution.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Marti Llazo

    @Chicureo “ This is the beginning of the end of España as we know it.”

    I don't know... looks like the same fascist Spain as always and there's a lot more of that to come. I see that they have sent troops from the national army to Barcelona to back up their Guardia Civil. Shades of 1939.

    Speaking of the Guardia Civil.... I remember once, as a nearly penniless kid, I was in Seu d'Urgell trying to hitchhike back home on the coast. The pair of GC on the highway asked where I was going and then proceeded to stop vehicles headed that way, and actually got a driver headed for Barcelona to give me a ride. The GC could be pretty decent, unless you were doing something stupid (this was during the Franco years). They, the GC, were usually good to us in our town and once told me how they were unhappy with some of the excesses of Franco's secret police and the military government in Barcelona. At the time I lived outside the city, near the Llobregat. The story we were told was this: GC were from “elsewhere” -- assigned to regions other than where they came from, so as not to be compromised by local connections and sentiments. I don't know if that is still the case.

    It's astounding how clueless Madrid has been, particularly so in asking for a little commercial from the king, who - being a Bourbon - is widely unpopular in Catalunya. It was the Bourbons who originally subjugated Catalunya in the 18th century and the catalans have never forgotten or forgiven.

    Oct 04th, 2017 - 07:05 pm +6
  • Marti Llazo

    Madrid's penchant for undisguised fascism and violence in repression of its subjugated peoples is never far beneath the surface.

    When I was young you could smell the decaying bodies in the mass graves at Montjuïc, courtesy of the Madrid government.

    Oct 02nd, 2017 - 02:20 pm +5
  • xenonman

    The ghost of Franco is ever present still!

    Oct 03rd, 2017 - 08:40 am +4
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