The new pro-independence speaker of Catalonia's parliament on Thursday started meeting party representatives to pick a regional president, with exiled former leader Carles Puigdemont in the lead for the post.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday said he would not hold talks with exiled Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont in the wake of the results of Catalan regional elections held Thursday.
Catalonia's separatists look set to regain power in the wealthy Spanish region after local elections on Thursday, deepening the nation's political crisis in a sharp rebuke to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and European Union leaders who backed him. With nearly all votes counted, separatist parties won a slim majority in Catalan parliament, a result that promises to prolong political tensions which have damaged Spain's economy and prompted a business exodus from the region.
As voters in Catalonia ready themselves for Thursday’s election results, they will not be alone in anxious anticipation. Nobody has bet more on the outcome than Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who has urged Catalans to step back from what he sees as an illegal, reckless insistence on independence.
Representatives of the government and parliament in Catalonia have warned that civil disobedience may be possible if Madrid actually triggered the constitutional clause stopping the autonomous rights of the region.
In his second intervention in the secession crisis, Spain's King Felipe VI has said Catalonia “is and will remain” an essential part of the country. He told an awards ceremony in the northern city of Oviedo that the Catalan government was causing a rift and Spain would solve the problem through democratic institutions.
Bank customers in Catalonia are withdrawing symbolic amounts of money from financial institutions that have moved their official headquarters to other locations in Spain amid a political crisis over the region’s independence bid.
Spain’s political showdown with Catalonia is set to reach a new level on Thursday when political leaders in Madrid and Barcelona are expected to make good on pledges made to their supporters to stick to their tough positions over the region’s future.
Spain is preparing to celebrate its National Day, 12th October, amid a continuing political crisis sparked by Catalonia's disputed independence referendum. The public display of unity comes a day after PM Mariano Rajoy told parliament the country was facing the most serious threat to its 40-year-old democracy.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said on Tuesday he has a mandate to declare independence for the north-eastern Spanish region but is prepared to wait “a few weeks” in order to facilitate a dialogue. Puigdemont told the Catalan parliament a landslide victory in the disputed October 1 referendum on independence gives his government grounds to implement its long-held desire to break century-old ties with Spain but he is suggesting holding off.