Published: Sam, Octobre 07, 2017
Globale | By Boniface Saint-Yves

Spanish king ignored millions of Catalans — Puigdemont

Spanish king ignored millions of Catalans — Puigdemont

He also says the referendum results gives him a clear mandate.

"Today there has not been a self-determination referendum in Catalonia".

"We will act over the weekend or early next week", he said.

The vote on Sunday saw riot police move in on polling stations in Barcelona and other towns and cities in the Catalan region to stop people from voting, in some cases baton-charging and firing rubber bullets to disperse crowds. Barcelona's port was at a standstill.

The King spoke amid a growing climate of tension with a general strike and "massive" protests in the Catalan region in which local police say 300,000 people took to the streets to against the actions of the Spanish National Police and Civil Guards during Sunday's vote. Regional health official said that well over 700 people were wounded in the violence.

What's going on in Catalonia now?

Sunday's plebiscite was organised under the threat of reprisals and criminal charges but thousands of Catalans stood in defiance of the central government in Madrid.

"We perfectly understand that many of our members and fans would have preferred the option of calling off the match", said Bartomeu.

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Carles Puigdemont, the region's elected leader, has asked for EU mediation in negotiations and said Catalonia has "won the right to an independent state".

The king's televised speech is extremely unusual.

Puigdemont also criticised Spain's King Felipe VI, who on Tuesday lambasted the "irresponsible behaviour" of the Catalan leaders.

Catalonia, which is home to Barcelona, has its own language and traditions.

King Felipe the sixth was addressing the nation following a day of protests in Barcelona.

A spokesman for the European Commission said the referendum was "not legal" but said that "violence can never be an instrument in politics". Polls consistently show that while most of its 7.5 million residents favored a referendum, they are roughly evenly split on independence from Spain.

"It's a republic or a republic", he said. "They [European officials] have never wanted to listen to us".

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