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Catalonia will declare independence within days, regional leader says

Catalonia will declare independence within days, regional leader says

The crisis in Spain grew more acute Sunday when some 900 people were treated in hospital following clashes with police ordered to prevent to the vote.

Investigations began Wednesday into key Catalan figures by Spain's Supreme's Court on suspicion of sedition. According to a law passed September 7 by the Catalan parliament (which Spain's Supreme Court declared unconstitutional shortly thereafter), the regional legislature has to declare independence if people vote in favor of secession.

The regional cabinet will "demand the withdrawal of all police units deployed in Catalonia", Puigdemont said.

Catalonia will move as soon as this weekend to declare independence from Spain after a contentious referendum, the region's leader has said, in the worst constitutional crisis for the country since an attempted military coup in 1981. For the most part, those opposing independence did not see the ballot as legal and did not vote.

Instead, the monarch blamed the referendum's organizers for the strife.

The Catalan president said the regional parliament plans to declare independence in the next few days.

Spain was only restored to democracy following the death in 1975 of military dictator Francisco Franco, under whom the Catalan language and traditions were suppressed. "They (the Catalan leaders) have infringed the system of legally approved rules with their decisions, showing an unacceptable disloyalty towards the powers of the state". "Those authorities have underestimated the fondness and feelings of solidarity that have united and will unite the whole of the Spanish population, and with their irresponsible attitude they have put the economic and social stability of Catalonia and Spain at risk", he said.

The request comes a day after a violent crackdown by Spanish police trying to block Catalonians from voting on whether they wanted to separate from Spain.

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In response, the Spanish government in Madrid said it would not accept "blackmail" from the Catalan leader.

"The situation is really serious in Spain now", said constitutional law professor Fernando Simon of Spain's University of Navarra, who said Catalonia was basically already in a state of rebellion.

Boya says "Oct. 9 will be the session.to declare the independence of Catalonia".

More than 890 civilians were treated for injuries, majority not serious, following clashes during Sunday's referendum, according to Catalan regional health authorities.

Alvarez said an independence declaration was "tempting" for Puigdemont.

So far no country or global body has expressed any support for the Catalan government*s independence drive, so any declaration of independence is likely to be rejected, at the beginning at least.

Catalan authorities said 90% of voters in Sunday's referendum backed a split from Madrid - but turnout was only 42%.

The president of the UN's 193-member General Assembly, Miroslav Lajcak, went even further, with his spokesman saying that "the right to self-determination is a basic right".

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