Cat­alo­nia in­de­pen­dence dec­la­ra­tion signed and sus­pended

The Miracle - - National & Int -

Cata­lan Pres­i­dent Car­les Puigde­mont and other re­gional lead­ers have signed a dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence from Spain, fol­low­ing the dis­puted ref­er­en­dum. How­ever, they say the move will not be im­ple­mented for sev­eral weeks to al­low talks with the govern­ment in Madrid. The doc­u­ment calls for Cat­alo­nia to be recog­nised as an “in­de­pen­dent and sov­er­eign state”. The move was im­me­di­ately dis­missed by the Spanish cen­tral govern­ment in Madrid. A 1 Oc­to­ber ref­er­en­dum in the north-east­ern prov­ince - which Cata­lan lead­ers say re­sulted in a Yes vote for in­de­pen­dence - was de­clared in­valid by Spain’s Con­sti­tu­tional Court. Ear­lier on Tues­day, Mr Puigde­mont told the Cata­lan par­lia­ment in Barcelona that the re­gion had won the right to be in­de­pen­dent as a re­sult of the vote. The ref­er­en­dum re­sulted in al­most 90% of vot­ers back­ing in­de­pen­dence, Cata­lan of­fi­cials say. But anti-in­de­pen­dence vot­ers largely boy­cotted the bal­lot - which had a re­ported turnout of 43% - and there were sev­eral re­ports of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties. Na­tional po­lice were in­volved in vi­o­lent scenes as they man­han­dled vot­ers while im­ple­ment­ing the le­gal rul­ing ban­ning the ref­er­en­dum. The dec­la­ra­tion reads: “We call on all states and in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions to recog­nise the Cata­lan repub­lic as an in­de­pen­dent and sov­er­eign state. Mr Puigde­mont told the re­gional par­lia­ment that the “peo­ple’s will” was to break away from Madrid, but he also said he wanted to “de-es­ca­late” the ten­sion around the is­sue. “We are all part of the same com­mu­nity and we need to go for­ward to­gether. The only way for­ward is democ­racy and peace,” he told deputies. But he also said Cat­alo­nia was be­ing de­nied the right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion, and pay­ing too much in taxes to the cen­tral govern­ment in Madrid. Spain’s Deputy Prime Min­is­ter So­raya Saenz de San­ta­maria re­sponded to Tues­day’s de­vel­op­ments by say­ing: “Nei­ther Mr Puigde­mont nor any­body else can claim... to im­pose me­di­a­tion. “Any di­a­logue between democrats has to take place within the law.” She added: “Af­ter hav­ing come so far, and taken Cat­alo­nia to the great­est level of ten­sion in its his­tory, Pres­i­dent Puigde­mont has now sub­jected his au­ton­o­mous re­gion to its great­est level of un­cer­tainty. “The speech the pres­i­dent... gave to­day is that of a per­son who does not know where he is, where he’s go­ing, nor who he wants to go there with.” Spanish Prime Min­is­ter Mar­i­ano Ra­joy has called an ex­tra­or­di­nary cabi­net meet­ing for Wed­nes­day morn­ing to ad­dress the lat­est moves in the cri­sis. Source: BBC News

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