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Catalonia declares independence from Spain

Kathmandu

Oct 27, 2017-Catalonia’s parliament declared independence from Spain on Friday in defiance of the Madrid government, which at the same time was preparing to impose direct rule over the region, according to Reuters.

Although the declaration was in effect a symbolic gesture as it will not be accepted by Spain or the international community, the moves by both sides take Spain’s worst political crisis in four decades to a new level.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy immediately called for calm and said the rule of law would be restored.

The motion passed in the regional parliament in Barcelona -- which was boycotted by opposition parties -- said Catalonia constituted an independent, sovereign and social democratic state. It called on other countries and institutions to recognise it.

It also said it wanted to open talks with Madrid to collaborate on setting up the new republic.

“It is not going to be easy, it is not going to be free, it is not going to change in a day. But there is no alternative to a process towards the Catalan Republic,” lawmaker Marta Rovira of the Junts pel Si pro-independence alliance said in a debate leading to the vote.

After the debate, lawmakers from members of three main national parties -- the People’s Party, the Socialists and Ciudadanos, walked out.

Members of the pro-independence parties and the far-left Podemos then voted in 70-10 in favour in a secret ballot aimed at hindering any attempt by the central government to lay criminal charges on them.

Spanish shares and bonds were sold off when the result of the vote was announced.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont left the chamber to shouts of “President.”

Meanwhile in Madrid the upper house of Spain’s parliament, the Senate, was due to approve Article 155, the law that allowing the central government to take over the autonomous region. 

Published: 27-10-2017 20:06

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