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France and Germany Pressures Catalonia to Drop Independence Declaration

10 October, 2017, 00:43 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Protesters congratulate Spanish policemen and decorate police vans with Spanish and Catalan flags during a demonstration called by

Catalan officials say people voted overwhelmingly for secession.

The big question now is whether Catalan President Carles Puigdemont will declare independence for the region at a local parliament session on Tuesday.

Symbols and flags from Spain's Franco era are banned if they are used to incite violence.

In Madrid, protesters wore stickers that read: "Catalonia, we love you". It's unclear how Catalonia can gain control of its defense and foreign affairs, tax collection and management of airports, ports, rail transport and nuclear stations, most of which are now managed by Spain. The majority of the region's unionists boycotted the October 1 referendum, which was banned by Madrid and disrupted by a violent police crackdown.

Spain and the European Commission, the European Union's executive branch, maintain that Catalonia's independence referendum was illegal.

Speaking on the French channel CNews, Nathalie Loiseau said that "if there were to be a declaration of independence, it would be unilateral, it wouldn't be recognized".

But just out of view of the camera lenses was the majority of Spanish citizens in this region - those who did not vote in the disputed referendum for an independent Catalonia. "They were putting it in Spanish banks".

Instead, Catalan president Carles Puigdemont would make a "symbolic statement" and speak of embarking on a path leading towards independence.

He also said that the Catalan movement aimed at obtaining more autonomy for the region should be peaceful and be conducted "within the framework of treaties". The Catalan government on Friday published final results from the referendum indicating that 90 percent of voters backed the proposal to break away from Spain.

Hundreds of people are gathering in downtown Barcelona ahead of a rally to protest the Catalan government's push for secession from the rest of Spain.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Catalonia's capital Barcelona on October 8 to express their opposition to any declaration of independence from Spain.

"We feel both Catalan and Spanish", Araceli Ponze, 72, said during Sunday's rally.

Catalonia's Parliament had been due to meet on Monday with the expectation that it would endorse the declaration of independence.

"We will apply what the law says", he said, according to a partial transcript released by TV3.

In clearer terms, on Sunday a member of PdeCat, one of the parties in the ruling coalition government in Barcelona, Marta Pascal, told the BBC the nationalists would stop short of issuing a unilateral declaration of independence on Tuesday.

So far, European Union officials have condemned the use of violence, but refused to be drawn into the conflict, which they see as an internal matter for Spain. The latest crisis has raised fears of unrest in Catalonia, a north-eastern region about the size of Belgium that is home to 7.5 million people and accounts for a fifth of Spain's economy.

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