Huge crowds rally against Catalan secession

Doug Mendoza
October 12, 2017

It's a threat that's not taken lightly, especially since the Spanish authorities' interference in the region's referendum, which Spain's Prime Minister had ruled illegal, saw about 900 Catalans bloodied by rubber bullets and batons. "And they should know that the government also knows what it has to do".

Meanwhile, Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy has suggested he could impose direct rule on Catalonia, which accounts for a fifth of the country's economy, "if the regional government does not comply with the obligations of the constitution".

"Ideally, it shouldn't be necessary to implement extreme solutions but for that not to happen things would have to be changed".

Following the controversial Oct 1 independence referendum that the national government in Madrid tried to stop by force, leaving almost 900 people and police officers injured, Mr Puigdemont condemned "police brutality that will shame the Spanish state for ever".

Turnout was 43 per cent as Catalans who reject independence largely boycotted the polls. Madrid says secession is illegal under Spain's 1978 constitution.

The crisis is a political test for Rajoy, who has been uncompromising.

However the region's leader has now confirmed independence will be declared - whether Spain or the European Union like it or not.

"I hope that the Catalonia that makes pacts, is moderate and for many years contributed to Spain's economic growth and improvement in welfare and wealth returns".

Mr Vargas Llosa is also among 60 Spain-based intellectuals and academics who have signed an open letter asking the global community not to support the idea of external mediation as a solution to the crisis in Catalonia.

A man holds up a sign during a march in downtown Barcelona, Spain, to protest the Catalan government's push for secession from the rest of Spain, Sunday Oct. 8, 2017.

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She said: "What I think has to be recognised is the strength of feeling in Catalonia".

"I'm very anxious. This will end badly and everyone will lose (without dialogue)".

A Catalan legislator was quoted by El Mundo newspaper as saying secessionist parties in the Catalan parliament were discussing an independence declaration to be submitted to the assembly next Tuesday.

Alex Ramos, the vice-president of Societat Civil Catalana, the pro-unity group that called the rally under the slogan "Let's recover our common sense", said that Sunday had been an long overdue expression of the feelings of the majority of Catalan society.

"Rajoy, you asshole, defend the nation!" chanted one group of demonstrators as they marched into Colon Square waving Spanish flags as well as one bearing the Franco-era black eagle. Madrid refused to recognize the vote as legitimate and Spanish police moved in to shut down polling stations, prompting clashes with protesters and voters.

Others had come from farther afield to show their solidarity as the prospect of a unilateral declaration of independence by the Catalan government looms.

This notion was slapped down by then European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, who warned it would be "extremely difficult".

Tuesday, 18h corresponds to the time at which Carles Puigdemont, president of the Generalitat, the autonomous government of catalan, must take the floor in front of the catalan parliament.

The prefect, senior representative of the State in Catalonia, has for the first time apologized on behalf of the forces of law and order on Friday for police violence during the referendum prohibited on Sunday, killing at least 92 and wounded scandalisant opinion.

Other reports by GizPress

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