Protests erupt in Spain over Catalonia's move for independence

Posted October 09, 2017

Rallies were held Saturday in Madrid, Barcelona and other cities to demand that Rajoy and Puigdemont negotiate to find a solution to Spain's worst political crisis in almost four decades.

People take part in a demonstration in favour of dialogue to resolve Catalonia´s bid for independence, in Madrid, Spain, October 7, 2017.

A huge demonstration to support the unity of Spain, on Sunday in Barcelona.

"Other states will be hesitant to recognize Catalonia as an independent and sovereign State and this way to prioritize Catalonia's interest over the ones of Spain", the analyst said.

Some protesters called for the region's separatist president Carles Puigdemont to go to jail for holding a vote on independence in defiance of the Spanish Government and courts.

Spain's red-and-yellow flag has always been taboo here in Catalonia and throughout the country because it has been linked to groups supportive of Gen. Francisco Franco's dictatorship.

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The regional government says about 90 percent of the 2.3 million people who cast a vote in the referendum did so in favor of independence.

The police violence drew widespread condemnation and forced the government to issue an apology on Friday, although tensions continued to rise after reports of plans for the Catalan parliament to vote on a unilateral declaration of independence on Tuesday.

Catalonia's separatist leaders have threatened to declare independence after pressing ahead with a banned referendum on secession which they say they won.

"The thousands of Guardia Civil and national police officers deployed in Catalonia would remain there until things return to normal and repeated calls for the regional government to drop its independence demands", The Guardian reported.

Carles Puigdemont, who succeeded Mr Mas as President, told the BBC on Tuesday his Government would declare independence from Spain by the beginning of next week.

Bartomeu explains. It is now pursing a strategy that says, either Catalonia gives in completely or it unilaterally declares independence.

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Experts believe that Catalonia's referendum is "the situation has already caused a serious constitutional crisis" amid no clear timeline for an independence declaration and hesitations.

"Unity of Spain will never be defeated" was one of the most heard shouts in the march, which was attended by people of all ages.

The protests come a week after Catalonia's outlawed independence referendum, in which around 900 voters were injured by Spanish police.

In peaceful protests called across 50 Spanish cities on Saturday morning, thousands gathered dressed in white and carrying banners calling for peace and dialogue between leaders. "I can tell you with absolute frankness that it will not happen", Rajoy said.

Catalonia's referendum law establishes an "exceptional legal regime" that "prevails hierarchically overall norms which it may conflict with", meaning it overrides other laws.

Asked whether he was prepared to invoke Article 155 of Spain's constitution, which allows the national parliament to intervene in the running of an autonomous region, Mr Rajoy said: "I don't rule out absolutely anything that is within the law".

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