Catalonia's President Condemns Spain's King For 'Deliberately Ignoring Millions of Catalans'

Barcelona vs Las Palmas

A regional parliamentary session has been called for Monday, and a Catalan government source said independence could be declared that very day, "according to how the session goes".

In a prime-time television speech, seemingly created to mirror King Felipe's address to the Spanish nation by scheduling it exactly 24 hours afterwards, Mr Puigdemont argued the monarch had abandoned his traditionally neutral stance in politics.

Last Sunday's referendum recorded a turnout of 2.2 million people - 42 per cent of the electorate - many of whom faced riot police at polling stations. Irish MEP Matt Carthy (Sinn Fein) said: "We are told the European Union stands for peace, democracy and human rights".

Turkey, which condemned last week's referendum for Kurdish independence in northern Iraq, also spoke of the importance of respecting Spanish law and territorial integrity.

Spain regards the referendum as unconstitutional, and sent thousands of police officers to stop residents from voting.

In a statement published on Wednesday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy wrote in Spanish: "The government is not going to negotiate any illegality, it will not accept any blackmail".

"Is there a solution?" "And the best one would be a return to legality and the swiftest possible confirmation that there won't be a unilateral independence declaration, because that way still greater harm could be avoided". In addition, police removed some ballot boxes in an attempt to enforce a Spanish court order to prevent the vote.

In an interview with the German newspaper Bild on Thursday, Puigdemont said he had not discounted the possibility that he could be arrested, but said he was not afraid. Spain's conservative government has said it will respond with "all necessary measures" to counter Catalan defiance, and is holding talks with opposition leaders to forge a consensus over what to do in response.

Читайте также: European Union lawmakers say insufficient progress in Brexit talks

Lawyers for the Catalan parliament had also warned the session scheduled for Monday would be illegal because it was to include debate of the referendum result.

The sight of King Felipe intervening and condemning the referendum - a highly unusual move for the monarch - made many in Catalonia believe the next step would be troops on the streets.

"The king has adopted the (national) government s position and policies which have been disastrous with regard to Catalonia".

Directly addressing the king, he added: "Not like this".

She criticised Puigdemont for reminding the King's duties and his comment on the King's speech saying "with this tone you had disappointed many people who respect you".

Under article 155 of the Spanish constitution, the central government in Madrid can suspend the autonomous powers of the northeastern region of Catalonia.

The whole conflict over a self-determination vote has been dragging on for six years but Catalan separatists finally staged such a referendum on Sunday despite Span's insistence it was illegal and an order by Spain's top Constitutional Court order that it be suspended while judges deliberate on its legality.

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