Friday, November 24, 2017
   
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Defiant Catalan mayors back independence referendum

More than 700 mayors in Catalonia confirm support for planned independence referendum that Madrid has declared illegal.

Catalan

More than 700 mayors from across Spain's autonomous Catalonia region have gathered in Barcelona to confirm their support for a October 1 independence referendum that the central government has declared illegal.

The defiant move came on Saturday as Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called for a return to "rationality and legality" and promised to block the vote.

"The only thing I ask of [Catalan] mayors is that they comply with the law, and as such don't participate in an illegal referendum," he said.

The mayors on Saturday met with Catalonia's regional head Carles Puigdemont in a show of defiance, following Spanish prosecutors warning earlier this week that officials engaging in any preparations for the vote could be charged with civil disobedience, abuse of office and misuse of public funds.

On Wednesday, Spanish prosecutors summoned for questioning more than 700 mayors who had said they would allow municipal spaces to be used for voting.

If the mayors do not respond to the order, police should arrest them, the order said.

'We will vote'

Meeting in downtown Barcelona in front of hundreds of flag waving pro-independence protesters, the mayors gave speeches in which they promised continued support for the referendum amid chants of "we will vote" and "independence".

Barcelona mayor Ada Colau, who has reached an agreement with the Catalan regional government to allow voting in the city, criticised Madrid's response to the crisis in a short speech in the city hall.

"It's a disgrace that we have a government that is incapable of dialogue and instead dedicates itself to pursuing and intimidating mayors and the media," Colau said.

So far, 740 of 948 municipal leaders have said they would allow municipal spaces to be used for the referendum, according to the Association for Municipalities for Independence (AMI).

Spanish police have raided several print shops and newspaper offices in recent days in a hunt for voting papers, ballot boxes and leaflets to be used for the referendum.

Catalonia's top court on Friday issued a warning to seven newspapers not to publish campaign notices for the referendum, a court spokesperson said.

Polls show a minority of Catalans want independence, although a majority want the chance to vote on the issue.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Georgian forces storm building to seize armed suspects

Read More

Ratko Mladic sentenced to life in prison for genocide

Read More

Assad to Putin: Thank you for 'saving our country'

Read More

Merkel in favour of snap poll over minority government

Read More

German coalition talks fail after FDP walks out

Read More

Gerry Adams to step down as Sinn Fein leader next year

Read More

Global_News

Kingdom 'methodically silencing and locking away peaceful critics on spurious charges', says Human Rights Watch.

Read More

Donation

Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:

Featured_Author

Login






Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Week in Pictures

Vietnam floods as APEC begin

Mugabe: Portrait of a presidency