Spain, Catalonia battle to the end over independence bid

Spain, Catalonia battle to the end over independence bid

Spain, Catalonia battle to the end over independence bid

After the vote, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said: "Today our legitimate parliament. has taken a very important step".

Earlier the Catalan parliament unilaterally voted to declare independence.

The Sydney Morning Herald also notes that "lawmakers from members of three main national parties-the People's Party, the Socialists, and Ciudadanos", boycotted the vote, walking out after the debate Friday.

"We establish the Catalan Republic as an independent and sovereign state of democratic and social rule of law", the proposal submitted by the ruling Catalan coalition Junts pel Si (Together for Yes) and its allies of the far-left Candidatura d'Unitat Popular said.

What happened in the Catalan parliament?

But the Spanish Constitutional Court is likely to declare it illegal, and key global powers including Germany, the European Union and the U.S. back the Spanish position. It seemed that there were people who were disillusioned, who had genuine grievances with the relationship of Catalonia to Spain and that were supporting the movement, but that had there been some negotiations, had some of those grievances been addressed, their support for the referendum would have waned.

Mr Puigdemont has called for supporters to "maintain the momentum" in a peaceful manner.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called for calm in a tweet posted minutes after declaration.

What will the Spanish government do next?

There were 214 votes in favour and 47 against.

The special measures are the only way out of the crisis, he said, adding that Spain is not trying to take away liberties from Catalans, but instead protect them.

The evets of the next few days could cause tensions, already at a near breaking point, to spiral out of control, as Madrid seeks to impose its will on the region - possibly by firing the Barcelona government and placing regional police forces under its direct control.

How did we get here?

Both sides have been clashing since a disputed referendum on independence at the start of October.

Despite the emotions and celebrations inside and outside the building, it was a futile gesture as shortly afterwards the Spanish Senate in Madrid approved the imposition of direct rule.

Spain's IBEX fell as much 2.1 per cent to a four-day low during the day, 10-year government bond yields hit a day high, and the euro dipped against the dollar on Friday after the Catalan independence declaration.

Catalonia accounts for about 16 percent of Spain's population and a fifth of its economic output. Polls show its 7.5 million inhabitants are roughly evenly divided over independence.

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