[ Director: Mário Frota [ Coordenador Editorial: José Carlos Fernandes Pereira [ Fundado em 30-11-1999 [ Edição III [ Ano X

quarta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2017

Catalan leaders sign independence declaration but put it on hold

Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont signs the document which proclaim the Catalonian Republic as an independent state, after his appearance at the Parliament of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, 10 October 2017.
[Quique Garcia/EPA/EFE]
As Spain headed into the unknown, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was to chair an emergency cabinet meeting early on Wednesday to discuss the central government’s response.

In a speech to regional lawmakers in Barcelona that drew both praise and criticism from separatists, Catalan president Carles Puigdemont said he had accepted “the mandate of the people for Catalonia to become an independent republic” following a banned referendum on 1 October.

But the 54-year-old asked the Catalan parliament to “suspend the effects of the independence declaration to initiate dialogue in the coming weeks”.

Rajoy has vowed to use everything in his power to prevent independence and has refused to rule out imposing direct rule over the semi-autonomous region – an unprecedented move many fear could lead to unrest.
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