Catalonia to proclaim independence on Monday

People carry a banner 'Well, Bye' in Catalan in Spanish, with the words of the Chief of Mossos (Catalonian Police), which he said during a press conference after a Dutch journalist asked him to speak in Spanish, as they gather during the National Day of Catalonia (Diada) celebrations in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 11 September 2017. Large crowds are expected to hold rallies on Diada Day, related to a disputed regional independence referendum to be held in Catalonia in October. EPA-EFE/QUIQUE GARCIA

Catalonia to proclaim independence on Monday


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The President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont told the BBC on Wednesday that the region will declare independence over the course of the next few days.

Later in the day, an MP of the local far-left Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party Twitted that independence will be proclaimed on Monday. “We know that there may be disbarments, arrests,” lawmaker Mireia Boya said.

The CUP holds 10 MPs in the 135-seat regional assembly expected to proclaim independence on Monday.

Of those that did vote on Sunday, the Catalan News Agency claims that 90% voted for independence. Catalan authorities claim that 2,26 million Catalans went to the polls.

The Catalan President claims Madrid is behaving as an “authoritarian regime” and compares the intervention by the national police during the referendum on Sunday to the oppression of the Franco regime. He warned that if Spain moves to make good on its threats to arrest members of the regional government or dissolve local structures and moving towards direct rule from Madrid would be a mistake. 

Catalonia runs key services locally, including health, schooling, and even a network of “missions” promoting the interests of the region abroad. However, it does not have a tax system, a border control service, an army, or even air traffic control.

The region is rich, with strong logistics, tourism, chemical, and educational sectors. And the region is a “net contributor” to the Spanish budget, with some Catalans feeling that the region would do economically better on its own.

 

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