Carles Puigdemont: No traumatic break, just new understanding

Oct 07, 2017, 01:06
Carles Puigdemont: No traumatic break, just new understanding

"I think in the future we'll have to build an independent state without these kinds of situations".

The former midfielder also called for answers from Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, whom he suggested should focus on fairly governing every Spanish citizen - including Catalans - until the independence issue reaches its conclusion.

Spain was braced for further political upheaval Wednesday after Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont said the region would declare independence "in a matter of days". Madrid has warned it could suspend autonomy of the wealthy north-eastern region.

He said the government will also take legal action "up to the final consequences" against those responsible, including politicians, for the intervention by Spanish police that left 893 people wounded.

Officers from the national police and paramilitary Civil Guard seized ballot papers and boxes at a number of polling stations.

Catalan officials say that 90 percent of the 2.3 million people who voted Sunday were in favor of independence.

While Catalan officials put the vote in support of independence at almost 90%, final results have not yet been released.

The crisis in Spain grew more acute Sunday when some 900 people were treated in hospital following clashes with police ordered to prevent to the vote. But turnout stood at 42 per cent.

Puigdemont said the vote was valid and binding, and that "we have to apply it".

"This moment calls for mediation", he said.

The King is now holding talks with national opposition leaders.

He went on to back Spain's government, saying the Catalan referendum for independence was illegal and undemocratic, and adding that the state needs to ensure constitutional order and the rule of law. "But we are prepared, and in no case will it be stopped", she said on Twitter.

The Catalan police - the Mossos d'Esquadra - have been placed under Madrid's control. "They said it was for our own safety".

While most of the region opposes Catalan independence, nations like Belgium are urging Spain to start talking, insisting no good will come of trying to crush Catalonia through force.

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