In Catalonia hosted a large-scale protest

05 October, 2017, 00:54 | Author: Anita Tucker
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In an interview to the BBC on Tuesday, the breakaway region's president, Carles Puigdemont, said he does not plan to delay the declaration of independence for much longer and is ready to "act at the end of this week or the beginning of next".

In a rare nationwide address King Felipe launched a blistering attack Catalonia's pro-independence regional government, accusing the secessionists of "breaking democratic principles" and trying to split up Spain.

He also stressed that if Catalonia left Spain, it would also leave the European Union - a position stated repeatedly by the commission and President Jean-Claude Juncker in recent weeks. Puigdemont said the low turnout was partly because many people wanted to vote, but were prevented by officials from doing so.

"We trust the leadership of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to manage this hard process", said the EC, describing the situation as an "internal matter". It's obvious that we need mediation.

Puigdemont announced a commission to investigate Sunday's violence and legal action against national police.

"Let's not allow other people to provoke us".

Meanwhile, Spain's King Felipe VI said organisers of the vote put themselves "outside the law".

Mr Puigdemont has long opposed the Madrid government's stance towards Catalonia and wants the European Union to assist with negotiations, even though the semi-autonomous region's longing glances outward have so far failed to garner robust support.

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"Tonight he lost every opportunity to bring Catalonia back to the path of coexistence within the law".

The four include regional police chief officer Josep Lluis Trapero and Jordi Sanchez, the head of the Catalan National Assembly that has been the main civic group behind the independence movement.

Sedition, for public officials, carries a maximum of 15 years in prison.

People raise their hands during a protest the day after the banned independence referendum in Barcelona.

Over two million Catalans voted in the referendum which was ruled illegal under the constitution.

Their main goal was to show Madrid and the worldwide community that hundreds of thousands of Catalans support independence. Support from security forces would be required. Thousands are on standby in the port of Barcelona, and their redeployment would be highly provocative after they led a violent crackdown of Sunday's referendum.

Spain was only restored to democracy following the death in 1975 of dictator Francisco Franco, under whom the Catalan language and traditions were suppressed. But now I am more for independence than anyone, thanks to people like that.

"Such a declaration would plunge the country into an extraordinarily complex situation with unknown, but very serious consequences", the group said in a statement.

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Addressing the European parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, Frans Timmermans, the vice-president of the European commission, said the images emerging from Catalonia were saddening but it was clear that the regional government had "chosen to ignore the law" when organising the referendum. He told legislators in Brussels "all lines of communication must stay open".

"It's time to talk".

He insisted that the Commission saw the matter as an internal one for Spain: "That is why the Commission has called on all relevant actors to now move quickly from confrontation to dialogue".

Hundreds of thousands of people across Catalonia have been protesting over Spanish police violence during the vote, during which almost 900 people were hurt, including 33 police officers.

"Violence doesn't solve anything in politics", he said.

Provisional results of the referendum that the Spanish government considers illegal showed the "Yes" side winning 90 percent of the 2.3 million votes cast, which is less than half the region's electorate.

Seibert noted that Merkel wasn't seeking to mediate the dispute between Madrid and Catalonia's regional government in Barcelona. The plebiscite was held under a tense atmosphere as national police and the civil guard undertook efforts to stop the voting, seizing ballot boxes and papers, as ruled by a Spanish court.

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