Thousands demand Spanish, Catalan leaders to negotiate

Thousands demand Spanish, Catalan leaders to negotiate

The conflict over a self-determination vote has been dragging on for six years but Catalan separatists staged an independence referendum on October 1 despite Spain's insistence it was illegal.

In Serbia, officials accused the European Union of double standards by refusing to recognise Catalonia's vote and at the same time supporting the independence of Serbia's former province Kosovo.

The Spanish Prime Minister has also warned that the Spanish authorities would suspend the region's autonomy and take control from Madrid if necessary.

Jose Manuel Garcia, a 61-year-old economist at the protest, said: 'This is producing a social rupture in Catalonia and this has to be resolved through dialogue, never via unilateralism.

"When you try to deeply modify the state then there are some consequences even in the economic field and now we are seeing these consequences", he said.

Yesterday, Spanish Defense Minister María Dolores de Cospedal made clear that Madrid views an army intervention to be a legitimate response in Catalonia.

In Madrid, Spain's National Court unconditionally released two senior officers of Catalonia's regional police force and the leaders of two pro-independence civic groups being investigated for sedition in connection with the referendum.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament held a plenary session focusing on Catalonia on Wednesday. "Every attempt the Spanish government has used to impede things to happen, they have been demonstrated completely not only useless but counter-productive". "Parliament will discuss, Parliament will meet..."

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Puigdemont has pledged to push ahead for independence anyway and is set to address the regional parliament on Tuesday "to report on the current political situation".

Catalonia's president has accused King Felipe of Spain of acting as a mouthpiece for the Spanish government as the country wrestles with the region's secession crisis and has vowed to press on with plans to declare independence over the next week. "I think that's reality", Quebec's premier Philippe Couillard told reporters.

She said she felt no reason to have to decide whether she was Catalan or Spanish.

Spain's Constitutional Court has also suspended this "Law on Transition". "I would like this threat of a declaration of independence to be withdrawn as quickly as possible". This "legal position" establishes the principle according to which a State born out of secession within the EU would not automatically be considered as part of the Union.

While this would be the last resort, the move would nearly certainly require officers from the Guardia Civil, the national security force, to be deployed again on the streets of Catalonia.

Catalonia's government has announced the final results of its referendum on independence from Spain, with little change from those announced just hours after polls were closed on Sunday.

Over the weekend, separate groups are planning to hold rallies both for and against independence. Companies such as Caixabank, Spain's third-largest bank by global assets, Banco Sabadell, Spain's fifth-largest bank, Gas Natural energy giant, textiles maker Dogi, reprographics company Service Point Solutions, telecommunications provider Eurona and biotech firm Oryzon Genomics have already switched their headquarters.