Cata­lalo­nia’s leader de­lays in­de­pen­dence

Metro Canada (Edmonton) - - Canada / World -

Cata­lan sep­a­ratists on Tues­day signed what they called a dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence from Spain to cheers and ap­plause in the re­gional par­lia­ment. The re­gional leader said he would de­lay im­ple­ment­ing it for sev­eral weeks to give di­a­logue a chance.

Spain, how­ever, called an emer­gency Cab­i­net meet­ing and gave lit­tle in­di­ca­tion it is will­ing to talk.

In his highly an­tic­i­pated speech, re­gional Pres­i­dent Car­les Puigde­mont said the land­slide vic­tory in a Oct. 1 ref­er­en­dum gave his gov­ern­ment the grounds to im­ple­ment its long-held de­sire to break cen­tury-old ties with Spain.

But he pro­posed that the re­gional par­lia­ment “sus­pend the ef­fects of the in­de­pen­dence dec­la­ra­tion to com­mence a di­a­logue, not only for re­duc­ing ten­sion but for reach­ing an ac­cord on a so­lu­tion to go for­ward with the de­mands of the Cata­lan peo­ple.”

“We have to lis­ten to the voices that have asked us to give a chance for di­a­logue with the Span­ish state,” Puigde­mont said.

That would help re­duce po­lit­i­cal ten­sions and reach “an ac­cord on a so­lu­tion to go for­ward with the de­mands of the Cata­lan peo­ple,” Puigde­mont said.

The cen­tral gov­ern­ment in Madrid re­sponded that it did not ac­cept the dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence by the sep­a­ratists and did not con­sider the ref­er­en­dum or its results to be valid. Span­ish Deputy Prime Min­is­ter So­raya Saenz de San­ta­maria said an emer­gency Cab­i­net meet­ing had been called for Wed­nes­day.

The Cata­lan leader “doesn’t know where he is, where he is go­ing and with whom he wants to go,” Saenz de San­ta­maria said.

GETTY IMAGES

Cata­lan re­gional gov­ern­ment pres­i­dent Car­les Puigde­mont signs a doc­u­ment about the in­de­pen­dence of Cat­alo­nia in Barcelona on Tues­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.