Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks

Catalan crisis worsens after Spanish king slams independence bid

SPAIN: Spain was braced for further political upheaval today (Oct 4) as a crisis over Catalan demands for independence deepened after King Felipe VI urged authorities to defend “constitutional order”.


By AFP

Wednesday 4 October 2017, 10:14AM


An estimated 300,000 people took to the streets in Catalonia. Photo: Josep Lago / AFP

An estimated 300,000 people took to the streets in Catalonia. Photo: Josep Lago / AFP

Felipe’s dramatic intervention late yesterday (Oct 3) aimed to calm Spain’s deepest political crisis in decades, but risked further fanning resentment and tensions in the region.

He spoke after hundreds of thousands of Catalans rallied in fury at violence by police against voters during a banned referendum on independence for their region on Sunday (Oct 1).

The central government and national courts branded the referendum illegal.

But Catalan leaders claimed the results showed the region had the right to secede and said they may unilaterally declare independence.

Felipe, 49, abandoned his previously measured tone over tensions with Catalonia, accusing its leaders of acting outside the law.

“With their irresponsible conduct they could put at risk the economic and social stability of Catalonia and all of Spain,” he said.

“It is the responsibility of the legitimate state powers to ensure constitutional order.”

Felipe repeated his earlier calls for harmony between Spaniards.

But after Sunday’s violence it was a delicate balancing act for a Spanish sovereign.

People watching in a bar in Barcelona whistled and booed after the king’s speech.

“It is a real disgrace... Far from solving anything it has added fuel to the fire,” said Domingo Gutierrez, a 61-year-old trucker.

“He did not say a word about the people who were injured... I have never been pro-independence, my parents are from Andalucia. But now I am more for independence than anyone, thanks to people like that.”

Police unions and political experts warned that Spain’s government risks losing control of the north eastern region.

It is considered Spain’s worst political crisis since an attempted military coup in 1981.

That was defused by Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos I, also in a stern television appearance.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters in Barcelona yesterday yelled for national security forces to get out of the region, branding them “occupation forces”.

In Sunday’s disturbances, Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont said nearly 900 people had received medical attention, though local authorities confirmed a total of 92 injured.

Four were hospitalised, two in serious condition. The national government said more than 400 police officers were hurt.

Angry protesters rallied outside Catalan hotels where state security forces were lodged, police groups said yesterday.

Two hotels said they made police officers who were staying there leave, on the orders of local officials.

Spanish authorities “are losing control, it is clear”, Javier Perez Royo, a constitutional law professor at the University of Seville, said.

A rich industrial region of 7.5 million people, Catalonia accounts for a fifth of Spain’s economy.

It has its own language and cultural traditions.

Its claims for independence date back centuries but have surged during recent years of economic crisis.

Madrid blames the Catalan regional authorities for the tensions.

“The government of Catalonia is pushing the population to the abyss and inciting rebellion in the streets,” Spain’s Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said yesterday.

He said his government would take “all measures necessary to stop acts of harassment”.

Puigdemont’s regional government claimed that 2.26 million people took part in the poll, or just over 42% of the electorate – but the vote was held without regular electoral lists or observers.

Puigdemont has said he will present the results to the region’s parliament, where separatist lawmakers hold a majority – a step towards a possible declaration of independence.

The regional government said 90% of those who voted backed independence, but polls indicate Catalans are split.

Puidgemont has called for international mediation in the crisis. The European Union’s executive commission has voiced concern.

The European Parliament was scheduled to debate the Catalonia crisis today.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
No animal cruelty at Phuket Zoo, say officials

Herein lies the problem. The officials that do the inspections are either paid for their favorable r...(Read More)


Fast & Furious 9 to take on Phuket roads

As if there aren't enough fast and furious drivers already on the roads in Phuket, now to glorif...(Read More)


No animal cruelty at Phuket Zoo, say officials

For a country that finds no sign of prostitution in Pattaya, not finding cruelty at the zoo is hardl...(Read More)


No animal cruelty at Phuket Zoo, say officials

“No evidence of animal cruelty has been found.”. Just in the same way than Thai police can make...(Read More)


No animal cruelty at Phuket Zoo, say officials

This is similar to the police walking along Bangla Road recently and reporting that "nope...ain...(Read More)


No animal cruelty at Phuket Zoo, say officials

That concrete cell that the tiger is shown in should be considered as cruelty to animals. What a ho...(Read More)


Fast & Furious 9 to take on Phuket roads

what ever anybody in Thailand is planing or doing - for mister kurt it is negativ!! ...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Bitter pill

We can ask General Pom Prawit to which hospital in Switserland he went for heart surgery and go goes...(Read More)


Two suspects arrested after fatal motorcycle-taxi brawl

In BP I red that the 2 motorcycle groups were illegal! How is that possible without police knowledge...(Read More)