Catalonia declares itself independent from Spain

EPA-EFE/MARTA PEREZ

Catalonia declares itself independent from Spain


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Catalonia’s regional parliament declared independence from Spain on Friday in a disputed vote that is now likely to be declared illegal by Spain’s constitutional court. The independence motion was passed in the 135-strong assembly with 70 votes in favor, 10 against and 2 blank ballots, the assembly’s speaker said.

Lawmakers from the Socialist Party, the People’s Party (PP) and Ciudadanos had left the chamber before the vote in protest.

The crisis has split Catalonia and caused deep resentment around Spain – national flags now hang from many balconies in the capital in an expression of unity.
It has also prompted a flight of business from the wealthy northeastern region and alarmed European leaders who fear the crisis could fan separatist sentiment around the continent.

But how direct rule from Madrid would work on the ground – including the reaction of civil  servants and the police – is uncertain.

Some independence supporters have promised to mount a campaign of civil disobedience, which could lead to direct confrontation with security forces.

What could happen in the regional parliament of Catalonia was also unclear.

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