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Spanish PM rejects any mediation to resolve Catalonia crisis

Spanish PM rejects any mediation to resolve Catalonia crisis

Spanish police caused global shock by beating voters in the October 1 referendum. Nonetheless, they said 2.2 million votes were cast, with 90 percent in favor of independence. This is the most serious political crisis facing Spain since its return to democracy in 1975.

The move is a precaution against the fiscal and economic turbulence posed by the independence drive.

At least 350,000 people gathered in the Catalan capital Barcelona on Sunday to oppose independence, waving Spanish and Catalan flags and carrying banners saying "Together we are stronger" and "Catalonia is Spain". Catalonia is also the top destination for foreign tourists, attracting about a quarter of Spain's total.

"We don't want businesses leaving Catalonia as if it were a medieval city affected by the plague". Catalonians would simply be better off on their own.

People walk during a demonstration two days after the banned independence referendum in Barcelona, Spain, October 3, 2017. [Until] today I had the impression that [people] who were against independence couldn't speak.

What is Madrid's stand?

The Spanish government sent thousands of national police to the region to prevent the vote. The Spanish constitutional court suspended the referendum legislation of Catalonian parliament and looking into its constitutional validity.

The vote was, however, ruled unconstitutional by the authorities in Madrid.

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There have been several claims of irregularities, and many ballot boxes were seized by the Spanish police. Anyone in possession of the keys/entrance codes to a polling booth was to be considered a collaborator to crimes of disobedience, misuse of office and misappropriation of funds.

He also admitted "some mistakes were made" by officers who launched a violent crackdown against voters last Sunday.

In a manifesto read at the end of the demonstration, there were demands that non-nationalist Catalans "should not be marginalised" and Mr Vargas Llosa launched a stinging attack on the nationalists, accusing their leaders, among them regional premier Carles Puigdemont, of being golpistas - conspirators in a coup d'état. However, the United Nations rights experts criticized Spain for violation of fundamental individual rights, cutting off public information and debate at this critical moment for Spain's democracy. "My family lives in Catalonia". But a large majority want to vote in a legitimate referendum to settle the matter. "It's not for me to decide what is the right future for Catalonia".

In Barcelona, protesters chanted "let's talk" in Catalan, while many carried signs criticising political leaders for not finding a diplomatic solution to the impasse. Including that of Artur Mas, former president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, yet fervent pro-independence.

However, Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

The most recent polls taken before the referendum showed that Catalonia's 7.5 million residents were roughly split over secession. Kosovo and Montenegro, which both separated from Serbia in the last 11 years, use the euro as their national currency with no formal agreement with the EU.

The International Monetary Fund kept its growth forecast for Spain for this year unchanged at 3.1 percent but warned that "tensions" over Catalonia's separatist drive could take their toll on business. It has been expected they would declare independence on Tuesday, but they are faced with threats of punishment from Spain if they try.


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