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Catalan leader accuses Spain of 'worst attack' since Franco

22 October, 2017, 01:25 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Protesters supporting Catalan independence take to the streets in Barcelona

Puigdemont says he has a mandate to declare independence after the referendum, which his administration says resulted in a 90 percent Yes vote.

He says "we demand respect for Barcelona and the plurality of its members".

Under Article 155 of Spain's constitution, Madrid has the power to wrest back control of rebellious regions, but it has never used it before.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau has opposed a declaration of independence in Catalonia based on an the October 1 referendum that Spain's Constitutional Court had suspended.

Earlier on Saturday the speaker of the Catalan parliament Carme Forcadell the decision to force a new election is a "coup" and an "attack against democracy".

The Nationalist movement was, predictably, in uproar at their imminent loss of regional power and a major demonstration is planned this evening in Barcelona "in defence of rights and freedoms". She requested anonymity in line with internal rules.

'The game could end badly, very badly for Rajoy's government, ' he said.

Puigdemont said the Saturday decision by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to fire the regional government and force a new election, which will be effective next Friday, was "the worst attack against the institutions and the people of Catalonia since the military dictatorship of Francisco Franco".




The measures could include stripping some or all of the top Catalan officials of their authority and laying out a roadmap to an early regional election for as early as January.

The prestigious prize-giving ceremony was attended by European leaders, in so doing implicitly pledging their support for Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's position on unite Spain and rejecting the Catalan bid for independence.

Rajoy said Friday that the goal of revoking Catalan self-governance is "the return to legality and the recovery of institutional normalcy".

The Madrid government is expected to implement measures under Article 155 of Spain's constitution.

Elections for the semi-autonomous region must be called within six months, he added.

The protest in the centre of the Catalan capital had initially been called to push for the release of the leaders of two hugely influential grassroots independence organisations, accused of sedition and jailed pending further investigation.

Opposition parties have agreed to support him in revoking Catalonia's autonomy.

'We are applying Article 155 because the government of a democratic country can not accept that the law is ignored'. Some of the measures agreed upon include dissolving the Catalan government and holding new elections for the regional parliament in January, all of which are meant to prevent the current government from declaring independence.

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