European Parliament Debates Results of Catalonia Independence Referendum

Marco Green
October 6, 2017

Catalan officials later said 90% of those who voted backed independence in Sunday's vote. Voter turnout was nearly 43 percent.

More than 2.2 million people were reported to have voted, according to Catalan authorities, out of 5.3 million registered voters.

Schools and some businesses also shut in a dramatic protest bound to further ratchet up fever-pitch tensions with Spain's central government, as Madrid comes under growing worldwide pressure to resolve its worst political crisis in decades. "Some have tried to break the rule of law, and we have answered with serenity and sanity".

The Catalan police - the Mossos d'Esquadra - have been placed under Madrid's control. "I firmly believe that the current situation should be resolved through political dialogue, with full respect for democratic freedoms", he added.

The Spanish government is adamant that he can not and the country's constitutional court ordered the referendum to be suspended last month.

During an interview with the BBC, Catalonia's secessionist leader Carles Puigdemont announced that the region will declare independence "in a matter of days". Final votes were still being counted Monday.

Espanyol and Girona, also based in Catalonia, released statements on Monday declaring their intentions to join the general strike as well. But Puigdemont called for an worldwide arbiter to mediate the crisis, ideally the European Union. "We do need mediation". "We only received violence and repression as an answer".

"Today there has not been a self-determination referendum in Catalonia". Yes, "We have been an example for the world", he said rather proudly.

The reigning Spanish monarch said the referendum had shown a "lack of loyalty" to the government, criticising the referendum as undemocratic.

"I honestly think I can join up with the national team because I'm convinced there are thousands of people who totally disagree with what has happened".

I already feel as a president of a free country where millions of people have made an important decision.

But the European Union backed Madrid.

Spain's 1978 constitution decrees that the country is indivisible, and grants the national government exclusive power to hold referendums. These are very complex moments, but we will move forward. It said it trusted Rajoy "to manage hard process" in respect of the Spanish constitution.

Sunday's vote "was not legal", Juncker said.

Many people in Catalonia who opposed independence said they would not vote in the referendum, which they denounced as a sham.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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