Cat­alo­nia on the brink

The Week - - The Main Stories… -

The threat of a con­sti­tu­tional cri­sis in Spain eased this week when the pres­i­dent of Cat­alo­nia’s re­gional par­lia­ment stepped back from an im­me­di­ate dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence. In the wake of the ref­er­en­dum of 1 Oc­to­ber – which saw 90% opt for in­de­pen­dence on a turnout of 43%, dur­ing a vote marred by po­lice vi­o­lence – Car­les Puigde­mont said he had signed a dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence, but had sus­pended it so that talks could be held with Madrid. How­ever, min­is­ters re­it­er­ated the govern­ment’s po­si­tion that the ref­er­en­dum was il­le­gal, and said that there would be no talks un­til Cata­lan lead­ers aban­doned the goal of in­de­pen­dence.

Ear­lier in the week, some 350,000 pro-unity pro­test­ers took to the streets of Barcelona for a peace­ful demon­stra­tion un­der the slo­gan Hable­mos (“Let’s talk”). Many of the marchers car­ried Span­ish flags and chanted, “Don’t be fooled – Cat­alo­nia is Spain”.

Puigde­mont: “head-on col­li­sion”

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