Talks or takeover? Next steps in Catalonia crisis

10 October, 2017, 00:42 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Catalonia- French minister calls for stronger EU to stop independence

"Ladies and gentlemen, they used the most valuable weapon we have: they used a ballot paper and a pen, and that was more important than anything the Spanish authorities could throw at them".

Eyes will be focused on the regional Catalan parliament Tuesday when the region's president, Carles Puigdemont, speaks about the current political impasse.

Yet, the more radical Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party has adamantly told Spanish media that Tuesday will see a strong declaration of independence.

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.

He said with "complete clarity" that Madrid is "going to stop independence from taking place".

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"We reach out for dialogue but we'll support the response of the rule of law in the face of any attempt to break social harmony". According to France's European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau, "This crisis needs to be resolved through dialogue at all levels of Spanish politics".

No one seems eager to recognize Catalonia, including the European Union.

Caixabank, Spain's number 3 bank, and Banco Sabadell, the number 5, have both moved their head offices out of Catalonia last week following an independence referendum that the Madrid government attempted to block.

Many from other parts of Spain joined the Barcelona march, which was organized by pro-union grassroots group Societat Civil Catalana under the slogan "Let's recover our common sense!"

"I want to say one thing with complete clarity: while the threat of a declaration of independence does not disappear from the political panorama it is going to be very hard for the government not to make decisions", he warned.

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Any declaration of independence by Catalonia will have no effect, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has warned, adding he is not ruling out suspending the region's autonomy.

Puigdemont said in an interview broadcast on Catalan television on Sunday that a law passed by the Catalan parliament preparing the way for the referendum called for a declaration of independence in the event of a "yes" vote. They expressed concerned that the leadership of the wealthy northeastern region will decide to leave Spain within days.

Catalonia accounts for almost a fifth of Spain's economy, and leads all regions in producing 25% of the country's exports, CNNMoney reports. Rajoy has warned Catalonia not to act on an October 1 independence referendum.

However, Mr Puigdemont's plans were derailed by the Constitutional Court which ruled that a special plenary session to debate the referendum results would be suspended on Monday.

Madrid sent thousands of national police to the region to prevent the vote.

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