Catalonia referendum result plunges Spain into political crisis

07 October, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Demonstrators in Madrid attend a rally in favour of a unified Spain

Addressing the nation Tuesday evening local time, Spain's King Felipe VI deemed Catalonia's referendum vote "illegal and undemocratic", adding that the question of its independence should be handled through what he called legitimate channels.

Speaking to reporters, he called for "mediation", "which means there must be the presence of a third party, which must be global to be efficient".

Preliminary results of Sunday's poll showed a 90 per cent vote in favour of independence.

The court said the four will be questioned on Friday about their roles in demonstrations September 20-21 in Barcelona when Spanish police arrested several Catalan government officials and raided offices in a crackdown on preparations for the referendum.

On Tuesday, a massive general strike in protest at the police action was held in Catalonia with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets, Reuters reported.

For more, we speak with Sebastiaan Faber, professor of Hispanic studies at Oberlin College and author of the forthcoming book "Memory Battles of the Spanish Civil War: History, Fiction, Photography".

Carles Puigdemont told The BBC that it would be "an error which changes everything", if the Spanish government were to take control of the region's administration, although he admitted that there had been no contact with Madrid.

The threat of secession by Catalonia, which accounts for about 20 percent of the country's entire economic output, is also piling political pressure on Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his minority government. "With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form of a republic", Puigdemont said in a televised address.

"They have violated the democratic principles of the rule of law and they have undermined the harmony of Catalan society", he said.

Catalan President Puigdemont will make a televised address at 9 p.m. on Wednesday following a makeshift independence referendum on October 1.

He said that the use of article 155, and the possible arrest of members of the Catalan government - including himself - could be the "ultimate mistake".

Scotland itself rejected independence from the United Kingdom in a binding 2014 referendum, although nationalists are still the dominant force in Scottish politics.



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