Spain's Constitutional Court suspends Catalan independence parliament session

Violet Powell
October 6, 2017

CATALONIA will move on Monday to declare independence from Spain, a regional government source said, as the European Union nation nears a rupture that threatens the foundations of its young democracy and has unnerved financial markets.

Bloomberg's Maria Tadeo reports on Spain's suspension of a Catalan parliamentary session.

According to Catalan officials, more than 2.2 million people voted on Sunday and that almost 90 per cent of them backed independence.

Spain's highest court had ruled the vote illegal under the Spanish constitution. They say 90 percent voted for independence, however they have not published final results.

Lawyers representing the regional parliament had also warned that the session would technically be illegal because it planned to discuss the results of a referendum that had been previously suspended by the Constitutional Court.

Spain's conservative government has said it will respond with "all necessary measures" to counter Catalan defiance, and is holding talks with opposition leaders to forge a consensus over what to do in response.

In an interview with Spanish news agency EFE, Mr Rajoy said the solution to the Catalan crisis was a prompt return to legality and "a statement as soon as possible that there will not be a unilateral declaration of independence, because that will also avoid greater evils".

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Speaking three days after his government's independence referendum was marred by violence and claims of police brutality, Mr Puigdemont said that Catalans were united as never before, adding that he was bitterly disappointed by the king's intervention.

The court order came as political uncertainty over Catalonia's secession bid started spreading to the economy, with stock markets falling and big Catalan firms relocating or considering a move to elsewhere in Spain. According to CNN, the public opinion regarding the independence of Catalonia from Spain still remains split.

In a televised address on Wednesday night, Mr. Puidgemont appealed for a mediated resolution to the dispute, even as he sharply criticized statements by King Felipe VI of Spain, who has condemned the Catalans' "inadmissible disloyalty".

Regardless of the merits of independence, we should all condemn the atrocities of the police in preventing the Catalonians from exercising their right to vote, and the unforgivable acts of brutality used to subjugate their own citizens.

Catalan leaders "with their irresponsible conduct could put at risk the economic and social stability of Catalonia and all of Spain", he said.

Carles Puigdemont, the President of Catalonia, slammed the King's speech, accusing him of following the central government's "catastrophic" policies towards the region.

Mireia Boya of the radical leftwing separatist CUP said it would be "a plenary to proclaim the republic" of independent Catalonia.

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