Spanish Court Moves to Pre-empt Catalan Independence Declaration

Lionel Messi

However, Spain's constitutional court has ordered a temporary halt to a special session of Catalonia's parliament next week where regional officials are expected to vote on breaking away from Spain.

As tensions between Madrid and Barcelona continued to rise, Puigdemont said Catalonia would declare independence in the coming days, without giving a specific date.

Earlier, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned Catalonia's regional government against declaring independence after a disputed vote last Sunday.

But she said the parliament had taken no decision yet on whether Monday's session would go ahead.

Like the SNP, Plaid Cymru wants independence from the United Kingdom and party leader Leanne Wood has condemned Madrid's "threats and repression" against the Catalan people.

According to the Catalan government, 90% voted for independence from Spain, partly because many in the No camp boycotted the vote. President Donald Trump also rejected the independence movement; the Catalan nationalists' only backers are separatist-ruled Scotland, the pariah government of Venezuela and Russia's intelligence and propaganda apparatus, which mobilized its media outlets and social media bots in support of the separatists.




Mr Rajoy said the solution for the region "is the prompt return to legality and the affirmation, as early as possible, that there will be no unilateral declaration of independence, because that way greater evils will be avoided", he told Spain's EFE news agency.

The images of Spanish riot police firing rubber bullets and swinging truncheons at would-be voters in Catalonia on Sunday handed the region's leaders the ideal story line: of a repressive central government squashing an attempted exercise in democracy.

The comments by the European Union led to accusations of "hypocrisy" by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who said: "How come that in the case of Catalonia the referendum on independence is not valid, while in the case of Kosovo, secession [from Serbia in 2008] is allowed even without a referendum?" According to CNN, the public opinion regarding the independence of Catalonia from Spain still remains split. "Catalan banks are Spanish banks and European banks are solid and their clients have nothing to fear", he said.

The Spanish state can also cut funding and put pressure on civil servants whom it now pays directly, having already tightened control over Catalonia's finances. They carried out the referendum in defiance of a ban by the Spanish court and stern warnings from the national government in Madrid.

During the vote, clashes broke out between police and activists, injured hundreds of people.

In Wednesday's statement, Rajoy also condemned Puigdemont's criticism of King Felipe VI, who in a rare political speech on Tuesday said the Catalonian referendum organisers showed "disrespect to the powers of the state" and constitutional laws.

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