World

Confusion Reigns After Catalan Leaders Sign Declaration of Independence

Confusion Reigns After Catalan Leaders Sign Declaration of Independence

Catalonia's secessionist leader Carles Puigdemont is due to address the region's parliament in Barcelona around 1600 GMT and could ask the assembly to vote on a unilateral declaration of independence from Madrid.

Addressing the Catalan parliament in Barcelona, Mr Puigdemont said the autonomous region had won the right to be independent as a result of the vote.

Catalan officials say people voted overwhelmingly for secession in the October 1 referendum, which had been declared illegal by the government.

In the referendum this month, about 90 percent of the almost 2.3 million votes cast were in favor of independence, and about 8 percent were against, according to the Catalan regional government. But the poll was poorly monitored and many Catalans opposed to secession boycotted an illegal plebiscite that triggered a vio lent police crackdown.

"I declare the independence of Catalonia in the form of the Republic", said Carles Pujdeme.

NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury prices pared gains on Tuesday after Catalonia's leader proclaimed independence for the region but suspended the effects pending talks, easing some immediate concerns about violent clashes on the issue. "The ballots have said "yes" to independence, and that's what I am committed to follow".

At stake is the territorial integrity of Spain, threatened by a growing separatist movement that is sorely testing the strength of its constitution and the skill of its national and regional leaders. "He wants dialogue", said Xavier Arbos, a constitutional law expert based in Barcelona. After that, a signed Declaration of Independence will kick in.

The Spanish government's staunch opposition, the lukewarm response of the worldwide community to the prospect of a breakaway state in Europe and the concerns of business leaders all suggest an independence move would extract a heavy price from Catalan's separatist leaders.

The Spanish PM has not ruled out arresting Mr Puigdemont and other pro-independence figures, but that would play into the hand of separatists whose leaders could become martyrs to the cause.




The Spanish government will meet on Wednesday to decide on its response to Puigdemont's declaration. "Independence is our future and depends on us, young people".

Madrid has the backing of Spain's courts, which ruled last week to block Tuesday's gathering of the Catalan parliament. Its legal value was unclear.

It could also rock his Catalan government, with one far-left party inside his coalition, the pro-independence CUP, saying he may have missed an historic opportunity and giving him one month to find a negotiated solution the CUP doubts will ever come.

The European Union has shown no interest in an independent Catalonia, despite an appeal by Puigdemont for Brussels to mediate in the crisis.

"We call on Puigdemont not to do anything irreversible, not to pursue a path of no return and not to make any unilateral independence declaration", government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo told reporters.

Some analysts have said that September's rise in wages may be because the adverse weather impeded lower-income workers from getting to work more than it did higher-income workers.

Property group Inmobiliaria Colonial and infrastructure firm Abertis both made a decision to relocate their head offices to Madrid and telecoms firm Cellnex said it would do the same for as long as political uncertainty in Catalonia continued.

"The pressure is bad and if you take in account the risk of violence... then I can understand that Mr. Puigdemont will try to find a way out in dialogue".

Demonstrators challenge Catalan Mossos d'Esquadra regional police officers at the end of a march in downtown Barcelona, Spain, to protest the Catalan government's push for secession from the rest of Spain, Sunday Oct. 8, 2017.


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