, pub-7147620433166915, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Spain gives Catalonia deadline to say if independence has been declared - Newsalert NG

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Spain gives Catalonia deadline to say if independence has been declared

Catalan leaders have been told to clarify by Monday if they have declared independence. Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy said the regional leaders have to make their intentions clear following the referendum.

It doesn’t mean that Spain is prepared to accept the declaration – rather, it has been seen as a veiled threat that if they have moved to declare independence, their autonomy will be revoked. Catalonia has a devolved government but Mr Rajoy has openly said he could take back control over the region under a clause in the Spanish Constitution.

He said Catalan president Carles Puigdemont’s response would be crucial in deciding ‘events over the coming days’.

Mr Puigdemont has already signed a document declaring Catalonia an independent republic, but says he wants to wait several weeks before it takes effect to hold talks with the Spanish government.

The central government ‘wants to offer certainty to citizens’ and it was ‘necessary to return tranquillity and calm’, he said following a special cabinet meeting. Catalonia’s referendum was resisted by Spain, who sent in riot police to close polling stations and seize ballot boxes. It was marred by violence, with hundreds of people injured in clashes with police while trying to vote.
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