Catalonians Rally in Barcelona to Protest Push for Secession From Spain

Oct 10, 2017, 00:22
Catalonians Rally in Barcelona to Protest Push for Secession From Spain

Secessionist anger in Catalonia has intensified following the violence last Sunday when Spain's national police and Civil Guard fired rubber bullets, roughed up Catalans and raided polling stations as part of an effort to disrupt the plebiscite.

Separatist politicians say there will be a declaration of independence for the northeastern region of 7.5 million during that session, although some ruling coalition lawmakers say the move could be simply "symbolic".

After an illegal referendum over independence was held last Sunday, several companies chose to move their headquarters away from this Spanish northeastern region.

In a TV interview broadcast on Sunday evening, Puigdemont repeated his calls for dialogue with the Spanish government.

"Why don't they invite Celtic or Rangers to the Premier League who are already part of Great Britain, that would have more sense than inviting Barcelona", he said.

The motion passed by the SNP conference acknowledges that the Catalan and Spanish governments are "perfectly entitled to take positions for and against independence".

Rajoy's deputy, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, also warned that Spain would act decisively if there was any independence declaration.

"I do not know how Puigdemont will write his speech, but if he declares independence unilaterally. and the government, through the Spanish senate, has to take measures", she explained.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy begins a meeting with socialist opposition leader Pedro Sanchez at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid earlier this month.

"The declaration of independence, that we don't call a "unilateral" declaration of independence, is foreseen in the referendum law as an application of the results".

"I urge the Spanish government and the regional government of Catalonia to renew their commitment to a resolution through dialogue", the former United Nations secretary-general added.

Protesters gathered at Barcelona's Urquinaona square are singing "Viva Espana".

Dyfrig Siencyn, who also represents Dolgellau on the council, has slammed the Spanish Government for abusing Catalonion citizens as they exercised their right to campaign for an independent state.

The stand-off has raised concerns for stability in the European Union as it continues to grapple with Britain's planned exit from the bloc.

Moves by Madrid to impose its authority on Catalonia risk sparking further protests or even unrest in the region.

But Rajoy assured Catalan leaders that there "is still time" to backtrack and avoid the imposition of direct rule.

Kofi Annan, in his role as chairman of The Elders, a group of notable public figures formed in 2007 to promote peace, said: "The constitutional crisis that is unfolding in Spain calls for consultation and not confrontation".

Meanwhile, the regional president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, announced he would appear in the regional parliament on Tuesday to explain the political situation. Those numbers resemble the pro-independence rallies that Barcelona has also seen in recent years.

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