Tuesday, October 17, 2017
   
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Critical moment beckons for Catalan separatists

Regional leader Carles Puigdemont could make unilateral independence declaration when he addresses Catalan parliament.

Separatists won 92 percent

Spain's ongoing dispute with Catalonia could come to a climax with speculation that the region's president might make a unilateral declaration of independence as early as this evening. 

Carles Puigdemont is due to address the regional parliament in Barcelona on Tuesday at 16:00 GMT, drawing warnings from the Spanish central government that it will not allow the country to be split.

"Spain is not going to divide and national unity will be maintained. To do so, we will use all of the instruments that the legislation gives us. It falls to the government to take the decision and to do so at the right time," Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told Spanish newspaper, El Pais.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said Spanish leaders were considering "all possible options" and described the Catalan leader's push for independence as "fanaticism". 

"We are ready for any circumstances because we are already vaccinated against the fanaticism of Mr Puigdemont and any hope that he will return to sanity and serenity," she said. 

Rajoy's centre-right People's Party has the backing of the opposition Socialists, who have promised to back the government should Catalonia attempt to break away.

The Catalans held an independence referendum on October 1 and secured a 92 percent vote in favour of separating from Spain.

However, a unionist boycott of the vote meant turnout stood at just 43 percent.

Spain's government tried to block that vote by force and faced criticism when images of police officers confiscating ballot boxes and dragging voters away from polling stations were broadcast globally.

Madrid has the backing of Spain's courts, which ruled last week to block Tuesday's gathering of the Catalan parliament. 


ALSO READ: Spain king 'ignoring millions of Catalans': Puigdemont


The Spanish monarch, King King Felipe VI, has also called on the government to maintain the "constitutional order".

Puigdemont has dismissed criticism from both the monarchy and central government and vowed the regional parliament will show the "best face to apply the results of the referendum".

A declaration of independence might take a symbolic form to allow space for negotiations with Spain.

The pro-independence Catalan National Assembly has said it will set up large screens outside the Catalan parliament to follow Tuesday's proceedings.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Daphne Caruana Galizia killed in Malta car bomb blast

Read More

Ireland braces for storm Ophelia's arrival

Read More

Austria elections: Sebastian Kurz's OVP 'leads' vote

Read More

German interior minister floats idea of Muslim holidays

Read More

Mogherini: Trump doesn't have power to cancel Iran deal

Read More

Spain accused of excessive force at Catalonia protests

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

Che Guevara remembered

Is it autumn yet in Europe?