Irish urge Spain to lower independence vote tensions after hundreds injured

Kristopher Nichols
October 5, 2017

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has said he is not planning a "traumatic" split with Spain, after a disputed independence referendum on Sunday.

"We're going to declare independence 48 hours after all the official results are counted", he said, according to a BBC translation. Not withstanding the many hurdles the referendum process faced and the scenes we saw yesterday, the overwhelming majority of people who did vote yesterday voted for independence. Some taped up their mouths to symbolise being silenced.

He also urged Spain's national police reinforcements to leave the region. Catalan leaders accused Spanish police of brutality and repression while the Spanish government praised the security forces for behaving firmly and proportionately.

Although 90 percent of the 2.26 million Catalans voted for independence, voter turnout was low at 42 percent, with many anti-independence voters abstaining.

King Felipe of Spain denounced the Catalan government for destabilizing the country as the leader of the regional government repeated his intention to declare independence within days.

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Hungarian Finance Minister Peter Szijjarto told CNBC the European Union had shown some "double-standards" over the issue but, like many other leaders, did not want to be seen commenting on a domestic situation.

"In the case of independence, Catalan teams in La Liga - Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona - will have to decide where they want to play: in the Spanish league or a neighbouring country like Italy, France or England", he said.

Mr Timmermans said the regional government of Catalonia had ignored the law by holding the referendum, and he said the matter was an internal one for Spain, which had to be dealt with in line with constitutional order of Spain.

The Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy said it was discussing its response with opposition parties in Madrid.

The European Union saw the referendum as a violation of the Spanish constitution and privately anxious about other secessionist movements in Europe. Senior police official Teresa Laplana and pro-independence supporters Jordi Cuixart of Omnium Cultural and Jordi Sanchez of the ANC completes the quartet.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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