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Catalonia: president Carles Puigdemont still in Belgium

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Re: Hoping for a democratic and independent Catalonia

PostAuthor: Benny » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:29 am

King Felipe made another speech about the situation:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41702327

/B

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Re: Hoping for a democratic and independent Catalonia

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Re: Hoping for a democratic and independent Catalonia

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:03 am

Benny wrote:King Felipe made another speech about the situation:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41702327

/B

Most anti-independence voters boycotted the ballot.


We ALL know this to be a LIE

Of the 43% of Catalans who reportedly voted, 90% were in favour of independence


The Spanish police had moved into the area and closed a great many poling stations - some before they even had a chance to open and others where the innocent would-be voters were pulled out of polling stations and beaten, ballot boxes were seized

I strongly feel that Catalan should be allowed a free vote :ymparty:
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Re: Hoping for a democratic and independent Catalonia

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:12 am

Spain expected to impose Catalonia direct rule

The Spanish government is holding a special cabinet meeting to approve measures to take direct control of the semi-autonomous region of Catalonia.

The meeting comes almost three weeks after the region held a controversial independence referendum, which was ruled illegal by the supreme court.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont argues that the referendum result gave him a mandate to pursue independence.

But Spain's government disagrees and is preparing to take back power.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41704759
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Re: Hoping for a democratic and independent Catalonia

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:50 pm

Puigdemont 'will not accept' Rajoy plan

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says Catalonia will not accept Madrid's plan to impose direct rule on the region.

He described it as the worst attack on Catalonia's institutions since General Franco's 1939-1975 dictatorship, under which regional autonomy was dissolved.

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy's plans include the removal of Catalonia's leaders and curbs on its parliament.

It follows the independence referendum that went ahead despite being banned by Spain's Constitutional Court.

Mr Puigdemont said the Spanish government was acting against the democratic will of Catalans after refusing all offers of dialogue.

He said he would call for a session in the Catalan parliament to debate a response to Mr Rajoy's plans.

Addressing European citizens in English, he added that the European Union's founding values were "at risk in Catalonia".

What is the Spanish government planning?

Earlier Mr Rajoy said he was triggering article 155 of the Spanish constitution, which allows for direct rule to be imposed in a crisis on any of the country's semi-autonomous regions.

Speaking after an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday, Mr Rajoy stopped short of dissolving the region's parliament but put forward plans for elections.

He insisted that the measures would not mean Catalan self-government itself was being suspended - instead, he said, the plan was to remove those people who had "taken self-government outside the law and the constitution".

The measures, which are supported by opposition parties, must now be approved by Spain's Senate in the next few days.

Reports say that Spain's interior ministry is preparing take control of Catalonia's Mossos d'Esquadra police force and remove its commander Josep Lluís Trapero, who is already facing sedition charges.

The government is also considering taking control of Catalonia's public broadcaster TV3, El País newspaper reported.

What other reaction has there been?

The use of article 155 has sparked widespread criticism in Catalonia, where many say it amounts to a suspension of the region's powers of self-government.

The Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, called the measures a "de facto coup d'etat".

"It is an authoritarian coup inside a member state of the European Union," she said, adding that Mr Rajoy intended to "put an end to a democratically elected government".

Catalan Vice-President Oriol Junqueras said Mr Rajoy and his allies had "not just suspended autonomy. They have suspended democracy".

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau said it was a "serious attack on the rights and freedoms of all, both here and elsewhere".

Iñigo Urkullu, the president of the government in Spain's semi-autonomous Basque region, said using article 155 was "extreme and disproportionate".

However Inés Arrimadas, head of the centrist Ciudadanos party in Catalonia which is against independence, said holding fresh elections would "restore goodwill and democracy" in the region.

....................................................................................................

Solution or provocation?
Guy Hedgecoe, BBC News, Madrid

Mariano Rajoy's use of Article 155 had been widely anticipated, but his announcement when it came still had a huge impact. The article has never been invoked before, so there was a certain amount of mystery surrounding its potential reach and meaning.

Although Mr Rajoy insisted that Catalonia's self-government is not being suspended, many will disagree. The removal from office of Carles Puigdemont and all the members of his cabinet, to allow ministers in Madrid to take on their duties, amounts to a major reining in of Catalonia's devolved powers.

The Spanish prime minister said that one of his aims was to restore peaceful co-existence to Catalonia with these measures. Many Catalans who want to remain in Spain will approve of this strident action. But those who want independence for their region are likely to see this as a provocation rather than a solution.
....................................................................................................

How did we get here?

It comes after the Catalonia regional government held a referendum on 1 October to ask residents of the region if they wanted to break away from Spain.

Of the 43% of Catalans said to have taken part, 90% voted in favour of independence. But many anti-independence supporters boycotted the ballot, arguing it was not valid.

Mr Puigdemont and other regional leaders then signed a declaration of independence, but immediately suspended it in order to allow for talks.

He then defied two deadlines set by the national government to clarify Catalonia's position.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41710873
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Re: Catalonia will not accept Madrid plan to impose direct r

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:39 pm

‘This is a coup!’

Catalonia chaos erupts with calls for independence NOW as Spain steps in

CATALONIA erupted into chaos today amid calls for immediate independence after Spain announced it would begin the implementation of Article 155.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's Cabinet in Spain met this morning to agree to roll out hardline rules to penalise the breakaway region and impose direct rule.

Elections could be held in just six months as the government seeks to oust all those involved in the “illegal” referendum - including Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont who could even face jail for his role in the crisis.

But now Catalonia has hit back over his stinging rant, as calls for immediate independence erupt among fierce secessionists.

Supporters of independence had already called a demonstration in Barcelona this afternoon to protest the arrests of two Catalan activists accused of sedition.

However, the event has now changed its focus and is directing its anger at Madrid for triggering of Article 155.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets with cries of “independence” or “TV3 will always be ours” after the government took control of the Catalan broadcasting company - akin to Britain’s BBC.

Dozens of coaches have flocked from different parts of Catalonia to the 450,000-strong demonstration, demanding the region’s freedom and insisting on the release of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart.

Outraged campaigners have also lashed out at the Spanish government for denying them their voice following the vote on October 1.

The speaker of the Catalan parliament Carme Forcadell said Rajoy's decision to fire Catalonia's government and force a new election is a "coup" and an "attack against democracy".

"Prime Minister Rajoy wants the parliament of Catalonia to stop being a democratic parliament, and we will not allow this to happen.

"This is why we want to send to the citizens of this country a message of firmness and hope.

"We commit today, after the most serious attack against the Catalan institutions since they were restored, to the defence of the sovereignty of the parliament of Catalonia.

Oriol Junqueras, the Catalan vice-president, accused the government of “totalitarianism”.

And a spokesman for the left-wing Podemos party claimed that Rajoy wanted to “humiliate” Catalonia.

Barcelona’s mayor Ada Colau called the move “an attack on everyone’s rights and freedoms”.

And Pablo Echenique, a spokesman for Podemos, tweeted: “The most corrupt party in Europe, which has 8.5% of the vote in Catalonia and is going to govern it. A terrible day for any democrat.”

Maria Rosa Bertran said that "once again we have taken to the streets as an active, non-violent society”.

And the Barcelona insisted Catalans are committed to "respond in a coordinated and continuous way before any action that violates human rights and freedoms fundamental of Catalonia."

Referring to the year in which Spanish dictator Francisco Franco died, Josep Lluis Cleries said: “It is a complete suspension of democracy, a coup d’état against the people of Catalonia. We have returned to 1975.”

Carles Riera, of the CUP, has called for the permanent mobilisation of citizens over what he considers a "coup d'état" of the Government.

While Xavier Adam, a London-born financial investor who was brought up in Catalonia, said he believe Rajoy will get nowhere by acting so aggressively towards Catalonia.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he said: "It’s the usual to be expected of Rajoy but yet again there is very little he can do.

"He could have avoided all this by talking to the Catalan government months ago, but now the Catalans will refuse to back down.

"They’re in this now, the ball is going down the hill, they've decided this is what they want and they will not back down.

"The whole thing is unwinding, unravelling for Rajoy, there are so many elements to this.

"It is so flawed the way he is going about this, the heavy-handed actions, when the Catalonian’s have mentality left Spain already.

"He is not going to get anywhere, he’s just clutching at straws."

Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, also weighed into the debate today, calling Mr Rajoy’s move undemocratic.

He tweeted: “Spain's PM has responded to Catalonia's calls for dialogue with a plan (announced today, minimizing press coverage) to remove its president and cabinet and to take over its institutions by force, effectively granting control of Catalonia to a party with just 8% of the vote.”

Mariano Rajoy expressed his anger during the press conference at the lack of dialogue and blasted the Catalan leader for wanting to “impose” his will on Spain.

And he said he would curb the powers of the parliament of Catalonia, sack its government and call an election within six months in a bid to thwart a drive by the autonomous region to break away from Spain.

Rajoy said his government had taken this unprecedented decision to restore the law, make sure regional institutions were neutral, and to guarantee public services and economic activity as well as preserve the civil rights of all citizens.

The measures must now be approved by Spain's upper house, the Senate, where a vote is scheduled for October 27.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/869 ... rticle-155
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Re: Catalonia will not accept Madrid plan to impose direct r

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:04 am

Catalonia crisis: Officials 'will not follow orders from Madrid'

Catalan officials will not follow orders from the Spanish government, the foreign affairs spokesman has said, as Madrid moves to reassert control over the region.

Raul Romeva told the BBC that the central question was not about independence but about democracy.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced on Saturday plans to sack Catalonia's regional government.

A referendum outlawed by Spain was held on 1 October in Catalonia.

The Catalan government, led by President Carles Puigdemont, said that of the 43% said to have taken part, 90% were in favour of independence.

Unionist parties who won about 40% of the vote at the 2015 Catalan elections boycotted the ballot and many anti-independence supporters stayed away, arguing it was not valid.

"The people have decided democratically for years what is the government they want, what is the parliament they want. These institutions need to be preserved," Mr Romeva said.

"No-one else but the people has the right to change those institutions."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41719081
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Re: Catalonia Officials 'will not follow orders from Madrid'

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:44 am

Spain PM Rajoy demands direct rule

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called on senators to approve direct rule over Catalonia, amid an escalating crisis over the region's push for independence.

He said he wanted to dismiss Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, his vice-president and all regional ministers.

Mr Rajoy's speech was met with applause in the Spanish senate, where his Partido Popular has a majority.

Earlier this month Catalonia held a disputed referendum on the issue.

Mr Rajoy said he was calling for exceptional measures because there was no other choice and said "law, democracy and stability" needed to be returned to Catalonia.

He accused the Catalan government of dividing families and fracturing society. Many people had already suffered too much, he said, and the uncertainty was driving businesses out of the region.

"The thing that Catalans need protecting from is not what they're calling Spanish imperialism, but a minority who, in an intolerant way, declare themselves the owners of Catalonia and consider as exclusive a history, culture and feelings that are the heritage of the community," he said.

Article 155 of the Spanish constitution empowers the government to take "all measures necessary to compel" a region in case of a crisis.

It would enable Madrid to take control of Catalonia's finances, police and public media.

The Senate is expected to back his proposals, which also have the support of opposition parties. The Catalan parliament could respond by declaring independence unilaterally.

However both bodies have allowed for further debate on Saturday.

What is the Catalan parliament debating?

On Thursday the Catalan parliament began discussions over a possible declaration of independence.

It came after Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont failed to reveal a favoured course of action, and called on MPs to decide on a response.

Mr Puigdemont signed a declaration of independence following the 1 October vote, but immediately halted implementation and called for negotiations between Catalonia and the Spanish government.

The Catalan government said that of the 43% who took part in the referendum, 90% were in favour of independence.

But the Constitutional Court ruled it was illegal.

During Thursday's Catalan parliamentary session, a government spokesman said a proposal to implement the results of a referendum on independence would be submitted to lawmakers on Friday.

Hardline separatists continued their calls for an official declaration of independence.

"We will continue on the path to a Catalan republic," said an MP for the far-left CUP, which provides key support for the pro-independence governing coalition.

But Ines Arrimadas, leader of the anti-independence Citizens's Party, accused Mr Puigdemont of missing countless opportunities to resolve the crisis through negotiation.

"You still have time to return to legality and call elections," she said.

Adding fuel to the fire
By Katya Adler, Europe Editor, BBC News in Barcelona

Article 155 of Spain's 1978 constitution has never been used before in democratic Spain. And for good reason.

Spaniards call it their government's "nuclear option".

But on Friday the Spanish Senate is expected to vote in favour of triggering Article 155 and stripping the region of Catalonia of its autonomous powers.

The move is the only way, the Spanish government insists, to calm the Catalan crisis.

But Catalan leaders say such a move will simply add fuel to the fire - making it more likely that Friday will be the day that they officially declare an independent Catalan republic.

Friday's front page headline of Spain's Barcelona-based newspaper El Periodico tells the story. It reads: "Unilateral Declaration of Independence and Goodbye."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41771294
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Re: Catalonia declares independence from Spain

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:45 pm

Catalonia declares independence from Spain as political crisis deepens :ymparty:

Barcelona, Spain (CNN)The Catalan Parliament voted overwhelmingly to declare independence from Spain on Friday, prompting the Spanish Senate to grant Madrid unprecedented powers to seize control of the autonomous region.

The day's dramatic and fast-moving events pushed Spain into uncharted territory, testing the limits of the country's Constitution drawn up after the restoration of democracy in the 1970s.

Amid extraordinary scenes in the regional capital of Barcelona, Catalan lawmakers voted to "form the Catalan Republic as an independent and sovereign state" by 70 to 10.

Opposition parties walked out of the chamber just before the vote, a culmination of a weeks-long standoff with Madrid that began with a disputed referendum on October

Image
Supporters of Catalan independence gathered outside the Catalan parliament in Barcelona.

Pro-independence crowds massed outside the Parliament cheered and waved the Catalan separatist "Estelada" flag as the result was announced.
Less than an hour later, the Spanish Senate granted the Madrid government powers under Article 155 of the Constitution to sack the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and his ministers.

The Spanish government called two Cabinet meetings for later Friday. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has pledged to quash the separatists, and moves to take over the Catalan administration are expected to begin at the weekend.

"Spain is a serious country, a great nation and we will not allow some people to blow up our Constitution," Rajoy told journalists in Madrid.
He urged Spanish citizens to remain calm, saying that the government will respond to the situation in a "proportionate way."
"The government will make any decisions needed to go back to legality, and we will do that this evening," he said.

Spain's general prosecutor confirmed it would file a lawsuit for rebellion against Puigdemont, the Catalan government and the members of the parliament board who voted in favor of independence.

Puigdemont: 'Stay strong'

Speaking in the Catalan Parliament building after the landmark vote, Puigdemont said legitimately elected lawmakers had cast their ballots according to a mandate earned in the October 1 referendum.

But he acknowledged that the path ahead would not be easy. "We are facing a period in which we will need to stay strong and in peace, dignified and civil as we have always been, and I'm sure we will keep being so," he said.

"The institutions and the people together built nations, societies, and a nation cannot be built without one of these elements."
Supporters followed his words with applause and repeated chants of "freedom, freedom."

Rajoy: No other way

Addressing the Spanish Senate ahead of its vote on Article 155, Rajoy said the rule of law had been "stomped on" in Catalonia and warned of a fracturing of society.

"Exceptional measures need to be adopted when there are no other ways to go back to normality," he said.

Those measures are "not against Catalonia but aiming to stop Catalonia being abused," he said. "Not to suspend the autonomy of Catalonia but to consolidate it; not to cut back rights but to restore them to legality. What's threatening Catalonia is not Article 155 but the behavior of the government of Catalonia."

It was unclear on Friday how the Spanish government would use its powers. A tough crackdown could risk a repeat of the violent scenes that played out on October 1, the day of the referendum.

But it seemed unlikely that members of the Catalan government who have fought so hard for independence would simply acquiesce to Spanish government forces.

Another question was how the local Catalan police force would react if national forces were deployed to the streets of Barcelona.

International reaction

The European Union has backed Madrid in its handling of the crisis, which Rajoy has insisted is an internal matter.

For EU nothing changes. Spain remains our only interlocutor. I hope the Spanish government favours force of argument, not argument of force.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) October 27, 2017


Following the Catalan Parliament's vote, European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: "For EU nothing changes. Spain remains our only interlocutor. I hope the Spanish government favours force of argument, not argument of force."

Puigdemont responded via Twitter: "Catalans always favour the force of arguments."

The UK and Germany, through government spokesmen, said they would not recognize Catalonia's independence declaration.
The United States also voiced its support for the Madrid government.

"Catalonia is an integral part of Spain, and the United States supports the Spanish government's constitutional measures to keep Spain strong and united," US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/27/europ ... index.html
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Re: Catalonia declares independence from Spain

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:34 pm

Catalonia independence: Rajoy dissolves Catalan parliament

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is dissolving the Catalan parliament and calling snap local elections after MPs there voted to declare independence.

Mr Rajoy said the unprecedented imposition of direct rule on Catalonia was essential to "recover normality".

He is also firing Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his cabinet.

The crisis began when Catalan leaders held an independence referendum, defying a ruling by the Constitutional Court which had declared it illegal.

The Catalan government said that of the 43% of potential voters who took part, 90% were in favour of independence. Others boycotted the vote after the court ruling.

What did the Spanish PM say?

On Friday the Spanish Senate granted Mr Rajoy's government the power to impose direct rule on Catalonia, and after an emergency cabinet meeting Mr Rajoy spelled out what that would entail.

"The president [Carles Puigdemont] had the opportunity to return to legality and to call elections," he said.

"It is what the majority of the Catalonian people asked for - but he didn't want to do it. So the government of Spain is taking the necessary measures to return to legality."

Regional elections are scheduled for 21 December. Mr Rajoy also announced the sacking of the Catalan police chief.

What happened in the Catalan parliament?

A motion declaring independence was approved on Friday with 70 in favour, 10 against, and two abstentions in the 135-seat chamber. Several opposition MPs boycotted the vote.

Afterwards, thousands took to the streets in Barcelona to celebrate, and Spanish flags were removed from some regional government buildings.

Separatists say the move means they no longer fall under Spanish jurisdiction.

But the Spanish Constitutional Court is likely to declare it illegal, while the EU, the US, the UK, Germany and France all expressed support for Spanish unity.

Meanwhile Spanish prosecutors say they will file charges of "rebellion" against Mr Puigdemont next week.

How did we get here?

After the 1 October referendum, Mr Puigdemont signed a declaration of independence but delayed implementation to allow talks with the Spanish government.

He ignored warnings by the Madrid government to cancel the move, prompting Mr Rajoy to first announce his plans to remove Catalan leaders and impose direct rule.

Catalonia is one of Spain's richest, most distinctive regions with a high degree of autonomy.

But many Catalans feel they pay more to Madrid than they get back, and there are historical grievances, too, in particular Catalonia's treatment under the dictatorship of General Franco.

Catalans are divided on the question of independence - an opinion poll earlier this year said 41% were in favour and 49% were opposed to independence.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41783289
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Re: Catalan votes independence Spain dissolves Parliament

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:39 pm

Spain takes charge of Catalan government

Spanish government has stripped Catalonia of its autonomy and taken charge of its government.

The measures early on Saturday came after the Catalan parliament voted to declare independence on Friday.

An official state bulletin dismissed Catalan leaders and handed control of Catalonia to Spain's Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.

Earlier, Spain's interior ministry took charge of Catalonia's police after firing senior Catalan police officials.

On Friday, PM Mariano Rajoy announced the dissolution of the regional parliament and the removal of the Catalan leader, and called snap local elections.

Demonstrations for and against independence went on into the night. A large rally "for the unity of Spain and the constitution" is being held in Madrid.

The rally is being organised by the Spanish government

The crisis began when Catalan leaders held an independence referendum, defying a ruling by the Constitutional Court which had declared it illegal.

The Catalan government said that of the 43% of potential voters who took part, 90% were in favour of independence. Others boycotted the vote after the court ruling.

The just thing to do would be to allow Catatonia to hold a free vote without Spain interfering, closing voting stations and stealing ballot boxes

What are the latest developments?

On Friday afternoon, the Catalan regional parliament voted to declare independence from Spain.

Soon after, the Spanish Senate granted Mr Rajoy's government the power to impose direct rule on Catalonia.

It did so early on Saturday by publishing an official bulletin (in Spanish) that dismissed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and all government members.

The announcement came hours after the Madrid government removed Josep Lluís Trapero Álvarez as chief of Catalonia's autonomous Mossos police force.

Mr Trapero was already under investigation for sedition, accused of failing to help Spain's Guardia Civil police tackle thousands of pro-independence protesters in Barcelona during the run-up to the referendum.

He was replaced by Ferran López, his deputy. Pere Soler i Campins, director general of the Mossos, was also dismissed.

The BBC's Sarah Rainsford, in Madrid, said that implementing the changes is likely to be a complex process for Spanish authorities - and one bound to be met with stiff resistance from those who just voted for independence.

Regional elections are scheduled for 21 December.

Mr Puigdemont has urged supporters to "maintain the momentum" in a peaceful manner, but Spanish prosecutors say they will file charges of "rebellion" against him next week.

Separatists say the independence move means they no longer fall under Spanish jurisdiction.

But the Spanish Constitutional Court is likely to declare it illegal, while the EU, the US, the UK, Germany and France all expressed support for Spanish unity.

What powers did Catalonia have?

Before Madrid took over the Catalan government, the region had one of the greatest levels of self-government in Spain.

It has its own parliament, police force and public broadcaster, as well as a government and president, though those have now been dismissed.

Catalans had a range of powers in many policy areas from culture and environment to communications, transportation, commerce and public safety.

What's the reaction been?

Thousands celebrated the declaration of independence on the streets of Barcelona, Catalonia's regional capital.

The same crowds that cheered each Yes vote from Catalan MPs reportedly booed Mr Rajoy as he made his announcement.

There were pro-unity demonstrations too, with protesters in Barcelona waving Spanish flags and denouncing Catalan independence. A large pro-unity rally is expected in Madrid on Saturday.

In other reaction:

    Barcelona's mayor Ada Colau condemned the move by Madrid, but also criticised Catalan pro-independence parties for "advancing at a kamikaze pace...after their mistaken reading of the results of the Catalan elections"

    EU President Donald Tusk said Madrid's government "remains our only interlocutor" in Spain, but called for restraint

    The UK government said it did not recognise the declaration of independence by Catalonia.

How did we get here?

After the 1 October referendum, Mr Puigdemont signed a declaration of independence but delayed implementation to allow talks with the Spanish government.

He ignored warnings by the Madrid government to cancel the move, prompting Mr Rajoy to first announce his plans to remove Catalan leaders and impose direct rule.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41785292
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Re: Catalan votes independence Spain dissolves Parliament

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:46 pm

Is Spain really a united country?

Watch this video and judge for yourself:

phpBB [video]


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Re: Catalan votes independence Spain dissolves Parliament

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:14 pm

Catalan ex-leader Carles Puigdemont vows to resist takeover

Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has called for "democratic opposition" to direct rule from Madrid.

He condemned the suspension of Catalonia's autonomy and promised to continue to "work to build a free country".

He made the call in a pre-recorded TV address to Catalans broadcast on Saturday afternoon.

The Spanish government has stripped Catalonia of its autonomy and taken charge of its government.

The measures came early on Saturday after the Catalan parliament voted to declare independence the previous day.

And Spain's interior ministry has taken charge of Catalonia's police after firing senior Catalan police officials.

Friday saw Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announce the dissolution of the regional parliament and the removal of Mr Puigdemont as Catalan leader, and order fresh regional elections in December.

An official state bulletin (in Spanish) handed control of Catalonia to Spain's Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.

Demonstrations for and against independence went on into the night, and a large rally "for the unity of Spain and the constitution" was held in Madrid on Saturday.

In his TV address, Mr Puigdemont, describing the declaration of independence, said Friday had been "a day with democratic and civic sensibility".

He said the central government's actions since then were "premeditated aggression" that ran "contrary to the expressed will of the citizens of our country, who know perfectly well that in a democracy it is parliaments that choose, or remove, presidents".

He added: "We continue persevering in the only attitude that can make us winners. Without violence, without insults, in an inclusive way, respecting people and symbols, opinions, and also respecting the protests of the Catalans who do not agree with what has decided the parliamentary majority."

Meanwhile, the Spanish government has said it would welcome the participation of Mr Puigdemont in new elections in the region in December.

A Spanish government spokesperson, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, said that despite his removal from office, the separatist leader had the right to continue in politics.

"The Catalans will be able to say what they feel about what they've been seeing in this last year, with all sorts of failing the law, abusing the law and putting themselves outside the law," the spokesman added.

The crisis was sparked by an independence referendum organised by the Catalan government and held earlier this month in defiance of a ruling by the Constitutional Court which had declared it illegal.

The Catalan government said that of the 43% of potential voters who took part, 90% were in favour of independence.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41788898
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Re: Catalan votes independence Spain dissolves Parliament

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:56 pm

Catalan ex-leader to speak in Brussels as asylum rumors grow

Catalonia’s ousted regional president will give a news conference in Brussels on Tuesday, European officials said, as speculation mounted that he might seek political asylum in Belgium and try to avoid possible prosecution in Spain for declaring Catalan independence.

Carles Puigdemont arrived in Brussels on Monday, the same day that Spanish prosecutors announced they were seeking rebellion, sedition and embezzlement charges against him and other Catalan officials.

Puigdemont is due to speak shortly at the Brussels Press Club, which is right next to the European Union’s headquarters. He walked into the building past a few protesters with Spanish national flags and pro-unity signs, including ones that that said “Rule of Law” and “Not in my Name. Long live Spain.”

Over the weekend, a Belgian government official said that it wouldn’t be “unrealistic” for Puigdemont to request asylum.

Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said that the central government in Madrid would be surprised if Puigdemont sought asylum in Belgium and were granted protection there.

Dastis told Spain’s Cadena SER radio that there is a level of “reciprocal trust” about the rule of law among members of the European Union.

“It would be surprising that he could receive the right to asylum under the current circumstances,” Dastis said, adding that the acceptance of an asylum petition “would not be a situation of normality” in relations between the two countries.

Belgium allows asylum requests by citizens of other European Union nations, and in the past, some Basque separatists weren’t extradited to Spain while they sought asylum, causing years of friction.

https://apnews.com/8e3685315dbf4cadad9a ... umors-grow

Spain took control over prosperous northeastern Catalonia this weekend after Puigdemont led the regional parliament to proclaim a new republic on Friday. The Spanish government immediately sacked him and his Cabinet, dissolved the regional parliament and called a new Catalan election for Dec. 21.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Supreme Court said Tuesday it will investigate six ex-members of the governing body of the now-dissolved Catalan parliament for possible charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement following the parliament’s declaration of independence last week. The six include ex-speaker of the parliament Carme Forcadell, one of the leading activists of Catalonia’s pro-independence movement for many years.

The ruling Tuesday came a day after Spain’s chief prosecutor Jose Manuel Maza announced he was seeking charges. Rebellion, sedition and embezzlement charges carry maximum sentences of 30, 15 and six years in prison, respectively. Maza is also seeking similar charges against ousted regional leader Carles Puigdemont, and his No. 2, Oriol Junqueras.

One of the main separatist civil society groups of Catalonia, the National Catalan Assembly, said Tuesday it accepted the regional election, despite the fact it was called under the Spanish government’s intervention.

The group, whose leader is in jail on provisional sedition charges, is not a political party but it has been the driving civic force behind the independence movement in recent years.

It said grassroots organizations need to prepare a “joint strategy” ahead of the elections with the goal of “obtaining an uncontested victory that will ratify the Republic.”

Meanwhile, some of the official websites of the Catalan government tied to the previous administration were down Tuesday, in a further sign of the takeover by central authorities.

https://apnews.com/8e3685315dbf4cadad9a ... umors-grow

Does this mean that Carles Puigdemont is going to run and leave all his former colleagues in the Catalan Parliament, to face the consequences on their own - what sort of SHIT man is he X(
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Re: Catalan votes independence Spain dissolves Parliament

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:59 am

Catalonia: Puigdemont 'will not return' to Spain for questioning

Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont will not return to Spain to answer charges including rebellion, his Belgian lawyer has said.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Paul Bekaert suggested Mr Puigdemont should instead be questioned in Belgium where he has been since Monday.

He has been summoned to court in Madrid on Thursday, alongside 13 deputies.

They face charges including sedition and misuse of public funds over last month's banned independence referendum.

Spanish prosecutors could order their arrest if they fail to appear in court for questioning.

But Mr Bekaert told Dutch and Belgian media that his client would "wait and see" further reaction from the Spanish authorities before returning because of the "high" risk of detention.

He also suggested he would fight any extradition ordered by the Spanish national government.

Spain has been gripped by a constitutional crisis since a referendum, organised by Mr Puigdemont's separatist government, was held on 1 October in defiance of a constitutional court ruling that had declared it illegal.

The Catalan government said that of the 43% of potential voters who took part, 90% were in favour of independence.

After the regional parliament declared independence, Spain's took direct control and sacked the government, including Mr Puigdemont.

On Monday, Spain's chief prosecutor said the Catalan leaders were accused of rebellion - which carries a maximum 30 year jail term - as well as sedition and misuse of funds.

The leaders are yet to be formally charged but are due to testify at the Audiencia National (National Court) on Thursday and Friday.

The court summons also gave them three days to pay a deposit of €6.2m ($7.2m) to cover potential liabilities.

Both Mr Puigdemont and his lawyer denied at a news conference on Tuesday that he had travelled to Belgium to seek asylum.

He said he was there "for safety purposes" and wanted to be able to speak freely.

Joaquim Forn and Dolors Bassa, the deposed Catalan interior and labour ministers who travelled with the former Catalan president to Belgium, returned to Barcelona on Tuesday night.

They were greeted by chants of "off to prison" by some crowds that had gathered at Barcelona international airport, according to media reports.

Mr Puigdemont previously said he would return to Spain if he and his colleagues received guarantees of a fair trial from the Spanish government.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41829341
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Re: Catalonia: Puigdemont not returning to Spain 4 questions

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:28 am

Puigdemont stays away as ousted Catalonia deputies attend court

Sacked members of Catalonia's regional government are appearing at Spain's high court to face rebellion and sedition charges, after October's disputed independence referendum.

Nine officials have turned up at the court in Madrid for questioning.

But ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four others have stayed away. Prosecutors could order their arrest.

Mr Puigdemont, who is now in Belgium, said: "This is a political trial."

Spain has been gripped by a constitutional crisis since the referendum was held on 1 October in defiance of a constitutional court ruling that had declared it illegal.

Last week, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy imposed direct rule on Catalonia, dissolving the regional parliament and calling snap local elections.

This came after Catalan lawmakers voted to declare independence of the affluent north-eastern region.

The Catalan government said that of the 43% of potential voters who took part in the referendum, 90% were in favour of independence.

What is expected in the Madrid court?

On Monday, Spain's chief prosecutor said the Catalan leaders were accused of rebellion - which carries a maximum 30-year jail term - as well as sedition and misuse of funds.

They were ordered to appear in Madrid's Audiencia National (high court) on Thursday morning for questioning.

They are yet to be formally charged. A judge will have to decide whether the officials should go to jail pending an investigation that could potentially lead to a trial.

The judge can also grant them conditional bail and order them to surrender their passports.

Who has showed up - and who has not?

Mr Puigdemont had previously said he would not return to Spain if he and his colleagues did not receive unspecified guarantees of a fair trial.

His Belgian lawyer told Reuters news agency that he would co-operate with the authorities, but did not appear before the judges because "the climate is not good".

The four other sacked leaders who failed to show up at the high court also stayed in Belgium, La Vanguardia newspaper reported.

Mr Puigdemont's handling of the crisis has drawn criticism among some other Catalan politicians, with left-wing parliamentary deputy Joan Josep Nuet saying his absence could make matters worse for those who followed the court's order.

"The attitude... has been really absurd, managing only to create yet more bewilderment," he told Catalunya Radio.

Among those who showed up were the sacked deputy leader Oriol Junqueras, Interior Minister Joaquin Forn, foreign affairs chief Raül Romeva and spokesman Jordi Turull.

Meanwhile, five other senior members of the Catalan parliament, as well as speaker Carme Forcadell, are facing the same charges but, because of their parliamentary immunity, their cases are being handled by the Supreme Court.

Their hearings have been postponed until 9 November.

Despite Mr Puigdemont's position, the Spanish government insists it has no influence over the country's judiciary, the BBC's Tom Burridge in Barcelona says.

But if those Catalan politicians appearing in court are denied bail it will cause further anger among those who want Catalonia to break away, our correspondent adds.

The court summons also gave them three days to pay a deposit of €6.2m ($7.2m) to cover potential liabilities.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41840070
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