Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy vows to stop Catalonia independence

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy vows to stop Catalonia independence

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy vows to stop Catalonia independence

The huge rally in the center of Barcelona took place today (Sunday) after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Saturday that he does not rule out the possibility of dissolving the Catalan government and holding new elections in the province.

An overwhelming majority of voters pushed for Catalonia's independence from Spain in the referendum held October 1. "And they should know that the government also knows what it has to do".

"Ideally, it shouldn't be necessary to implement extreme solutions but for that not to happen things would have to be changed".

Recent opinion polls indicate that Catalans are split on independence, although regional leaders said police violence during the referendum turned many against Madrid.

It says the "yes" side won 90.18 percent of the 2.29 million votes cast in the referendum, which did not meet worldwide electoral standards.

Tensions between Madrid and the separatists in power in Catalonia since the beginning of 2016 have plunged the country into its most serious political crisis since its return to democracy in 1977. Millions of people have voted, who want to decide. Some 900 people were injured during the vote when police tried to disrupt voting, firing rubber bullets and charging crowds with truncheons.

Because the leaders of the catalans need to think about "what they intend to do" of the declaration of independence unilateral, continues the journal. It is unclear how widespread Vila's moderate position is inside the Catalan government, which is being pressured by separatist grassroots groups and the far-left party Popular Unity Candidacy to declare independence soon.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will not compromise in the conflict over Catalonia's desire for independence.

Protesters dressed in white gathered in front of town halls in dozens of cities to demand dialogue to end the crisis in demonstrations organised by a group called "Let's Talk".

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But Rajoy assured Catalan leaders that there "is still time" to backtrack and avoid the imposition of direct rule from Madrid. Rajoy was forced to apologize on Friday, but many in Catalan say the crackdown has only fueled their desire for independence.

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A man holds up a sign during a march in downtown Barcelona, Spain, to protest the Catalan government's push for secession from the rest of Spain, Sunday Oct. 8, 2017.

"I have worked my whole life to lift Catalonia up", she said.

Indeed, in defiance of Spain's laws and Constitution, Mr Puigdemont (pronounced POOTCH-da-mon) has wound up in the driver's seat of - as described by the BBC last Thursday - "what may well be a doomed journey" by the autonomous community on Spain's north-eastern edge to secede.

A Catalan legislator was quoted by El Mundo newspaper as saying secessionist parties in the Catalan parliament were discussing an independence declaration to be submitted to the assembly next Tuesday.

Some 50,000 citizens, answering calls by DENAES, foundation for the Spanish Nation Defense, demonstrated in the Plaza de Colón, or Columbus Square, in the Spanish capital, according to the Spanish government.

"This battle is going to be fought and is going to be won, because it is a fair battle, it's a legal battle and it is what the enormous majority of Spaniards want and what we all feel", Rajoy said, adding more national police would be deployed in Catalonia until the situation returned to normal. Riot police stormed several polling stations in an unsuccessful attempt to impede the vote.

Senior Catalan officials were said to be studying a possible unilateral declaration of independence, an act that had been roundly discouraged by the Spanish government and the wider global community.

This notion was slapped down by then European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, who warned it would be "extremely difficult".

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