Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
World News | By Carolyn Briggs

Spanish PM won't rule out suspending Catalonia's autonomy

Spanish PM won't rule out suspending Catalonia's autonomy

"There are thousands of men and women coming from all corners of Spain, even from Peru, to tell the Catalans that they are not alone, that we are with them, that we are going to fight together for freedom", he added. 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.

Protesters on Sunday called for the imprisonment of Mr Puigdemont after he pledged to push for independence.

"If there is a unilateral declaration of independence there will be decisions made to restore law and democracy".

Leaders in Catalonia are facing increasing domestic and global pressure to abandon plans to declare independence from Spain, ahead of a planned speech by Catalonia's regional president.

However the turnout in the 1 October vote was only about 43% as Catalans who favour remaining part of Spain mainly boycotted the ballot. The latest crisis has raised fears of unrest in Catalonia, a north-eastern region about the size of Belgium that is home to 7.5 million people and accounts for a fifth of Spain's economy.

Pro-independence leader Carles Puigdemont is coming under increasing pressure after a number of Catalan-based companies re-located outside of the region in the wake of an unofficial independence vote just over a week ago.

On Sunday, Barcelona police estimated as many as 350,000 people participated in a rally organised in the Spanish city. They expressed concerned that the leadership of the wealthy northeastern region will decide to leave Spain within days.

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A lawmaker with the Catalan CUP party says the far-left separatists won't accept anything on Tuesday that falls short of a declaration of secession, after a referendum marred by violence.

Rajoy says he would only hold talks with Puigdemont's side if the Catalan separatists abandoned their independence bid in line with the Spanish constitution.

THE SNP has further entrenched its support for the people of Catalonia in the aftermath of the embattled Catalan independence referendum with a topical resolution calling for worldwide mediators to find an "agreed solution" to Catalonia's standoff with the Spanish Government.

Catalans wake up on Tuesday to what could be a momentous day in their history as the world waits to see whether the region will proclaim its independence from Spain.

The gap between Spain and Germany's 10-year bond yield shrank to around 118 basis points - having stretched out to 136 bps last week at the height of worries about a conflict between Catalonia and the central government in Madrid.

Thousands of Guardia Civil officers, a paramilitary police force, were sent to the region to stop the vote taking place by force if necessary.

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