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'What the law says': Catalonia will follow through with independence declaration

8 October 2017 7:35 PM
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Barcelona: Catalonia will apply the law that calls for a declaration of independence following a majority 'yes' vote, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says in a television program to be broadcast later on Sunday, local time.

"The declaration of independence, that we don't call a 'unilateral' declaration of independence, is foreseen in the referendum law as an application of the results. We will apply what the law says," Puigdemont says in the program on Catalonia's TV3, according to excerpts on the broadcaster's website.

The Catalan government says more than 90 per cent of people who voted in the October 1 referendum voted in favour of independence from Spain. The referendum was declared illegal by Spanish authorities and turnout was only 43 per cent.

The Catalan law paving the way for the referendum said the Parliament of Catalonia would declare the region's independence within 48 hours of a "yes" vote being proclaimed by the Catalan electoral office.

The clearest indication yet of what Catalonia will do with the vote results comes as hundreds of thousands of people rallied in downtown Barcelona to protest against their regional government's secession plan.

The march was the largest pro-unity showing since the rise of separatist sentiment in the prosperous north-eastern region that has pushed Spain to the brink of a national crisis.

Barcelona police said 350,000 people participated, while march organisers Societat Civil Catalana said 930,000 people turned out.

Many in the crowd who marched through the city centre under the slogan of "Let's recover our common sense", carried Spanish, Catalan and European Union flags.

Some chanted "Don't be fooled, Catalonia is Spain" and called for Puigdemont to go to prison.


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8 October 2017 7:35 PM

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