Catalan referendum: Catalonia has 'won right to statehood'

Dark Sorrow

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Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says the Spanish region has won the right to statehood following a contentious referendum that was marred by violence.

He said the door was open to a unilateral declaration of independence after Catalan officials said voters had backed secession with a 42.3% turnout.

Spain's government has warned it could suspend Catalan autonomy.

The constitutional court banned the vote and almost 900 people were hurt as police tried to stop it going ahead.

Officers from the national police and paramilitary Civil Guard seized ballot papers and boxes at polling stations.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Catalans had been fooled into taking part in an illegal vote.

More than 2.2 million people were reported to have voted, according to Catalan authorities, out of 5.3 million registered voters. Just under 90% of those who voted backed independence, they said.

A Catalan spokesman said more than 750,000 votes could not be counted because polling stations were closed and urns were confiscated.

What have Catalan and Spanish leaders said?
"With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form of a republic," Mr Puigdemont said in a televised address.


Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont was flanked by members of his government as he made his statement
"My government in the next few days will send the results of today's vote to the Catalan parliament, where the sovereignty of our people lies, so that it can act in accordance with the law of the referendum."

He said the European Union could no longer "continue to look the other way".



Media captionRiot police were seen using batons and kicking people to block voting
The Spanish prime minister spoke of a "mockery" of democracy.

"At this hour I can tell you in the strongest terms what you already know and what we have seen throughout this day. There has not been a referendum on self-determination in Catalonia," Mr Rajoy said.

Spain's justice minister warned that any declaration of independence could lead to article 155 of the country's constitution being invoked which allows the national government to intervene in the running of an autonomous region.

"We are not here to divide Spaniards... but if someone tries to declare independence on behalf of a part of Spain's territory, that cannot be done because it is beyond their powers," said Rafael Catalá.

More than 40 trade unions and Catalan associations called a region-wide strike on Tuesday due to "the grave violation of rights and freedoms".

How bad was the violence?
TV images showed Spanish police kicking would-be voters and pulling women out of polling stations by their hair.

Catalan medical officials said 844 people had been hurt in clashes, including 33 police. The majority had minor injuries or had suffered from anxiety attacks.

In Girona, riot police smashed their way into a polling station where Mr Puigdemont was due to vote, and forcibly removed those inside. He voted at another station.

The BBC's Tom Burridge in Barcelona witnessed police being chased away from one polling booth after they had raided it.

TV footage showed riot police using batons to beat a group of firefighters who were protecting crowds in Girona.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption This woman suffered a head injury in Barcelona
The national police and Guardia Civil - a military force charged with police duties - were sent into Catalonia in large numbers to prevent the vote.

The Catalan police - the Mossos d'Esquadra - have been placed under Madrid's control, however witnesses said they showed little inclination to use force on protesters.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau, who voted blank on Sunday, condemned police actions against the region's "defenceless" population, but Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said police had "acted with professionalism and in a proportionate way".


Image copyright Boris Llona via Twitter
Image caption The Mossos d'Esquadra are held in high esteem by Catalans
Large crowds of independence supporters gathered in the centre of the regional capital Barcelona on Sunday evening, waving flags and singing the Catalan anthem. Anti-independence protesters have also held rallies in Barcelona and other Spanish cities.

How much voting took place?
Catalan authorities said 319 of about 2,300 polling stations across the region had been closed by police while the Spanish government said 92 stations had been sealed off.

Since Friday, thousands of people have occupied schools and other buildings designated as polling stations in order to keep them open.


Many of those inside were parents and their children, who remained in the buildings after the end of lessons on Friday and bedded down in sleeping bags on gym mats.

The anti-independence Societat Civil said there were voting irregularities, including the same people voting twice.

Catalonia, a wealthy region of 7.5 million people in north-eastern Spain, has its own language and culture.

It also has a high degree of autonomy, but is not recognised as a separate nation under the Spanish constitution.

What happens next?
Analysis: Tom Burridge, BBC News, Barcelona

Spain's complicated relationship with the region of Catalonia is headed for the unknown.

After violence by Spanish police, a declaration of independence by Catalonia's regional government seems more likely than ever before.

Given the chaotic nature of the vote, turnout and voting figures should be taken with a pinch of salt. On Monday the government in Madrid will hold talks with Spanish parties to discuss a response to the biggest political crisis this country has seen in decades.

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Dark Sorrow

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Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont announced late on Sunday that his government would push ahead with a declaration of independence in the northeastern region in the coming days, after preliminary figures showed that some 90% of voters had cast their ballots in favor of secession from Spain.

Data from the illegal poll showed some 90% of voters in the region had cast their ballots in favor of independence. However, participation was just 2,262,424 of a total voter pool of 5,343,358, for a turnout rate of 42%, according to the Catalan government’s own figures. The abstention rate was 58%.

Puigdemont said his government would “in the next few days” present the results of the ballot to the regional parliament “so that it can act in accordance with the referendum laws.”

The regional leader said that Catalans had won the right to be “listened to, respected and recognized.”

“The European Union cannot keep looking away,” he said during an announcement condemning the “police brutality“ and “brutal repression,” on a day in which hundreds were injured after Spanish National Police and the Civil Guard attempted to prevent people from entering polling stations to cast their ballots in a vote that had been banned by the courts.

Madrid says that the referendum was unconstitutional and that all it did on Sunday was to uphold the rule of law.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy addressed the nation at 8.15pm on Sunday. With Spain and much of the world in shock at the images of violence, Rajoy said that the rule of law has prevailed following an attack by Catalan secessionists against the country’s democratic foundations: “We did what we had to do.”

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias said that the Popular Party must be removed from government after Sunday’s events, and insisted on the need for a negotiated consultation in Catalonia. Opposition leader Pedro Sánchez, of the Socialist Party, said that a political negotiation is more urgent now than ever.

Rajoy said he is open to dialogue within the bounds of the law, and will make a congressional appearance to debate the matter.

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Dark Sorrow

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Catalonia's government said 90 percent of those who voted in an unauthorised independence referendum chose to split from Spain.

On a day marred by clashes between police and voters, 2.26 million people took part in the referendum, regional government spokesman Jordi Turull said. That represents a turnout of 42.3 percent of Catalonia's 5.34 million voters.


A woman tends to her injuries in front of riot police near a school being used as a polling station Credit: Geraldine Hope Ghelli/Bloomberg
Of those who took part, 2.02 million Catalans voted "yes" to the question: "Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?"

The preliminary results pave the way for the region's leader to declare independence in the coming days, despite the Spanish government ruling the referendum illegal.


The brutal scenes of police cracking down on the referendum plunged the EU into a new crisis after hundreds of people were injured in the violent stand-offs with Spanish police.

In violent scenes beamed around the world, officers in riot gear fired rubber bullets into crowds and beat would-be voters with batons as they queued at polling stations.

The Catalan government claimed 844 people were injured.

There was widespread condemnation of the Spanish government's attempt to crack down on the vote, which Catalan authorities had called despite the courts ruling it illegal.

However, the European Union remained conspicuously silent on the police tactics, which saw masked officers smash their way into polling stations and forcibly remove ballot boxes.

Catalan referendum: Clashes as voters defy Madrid 01:01
Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan leader, said the region had "won the right to an independent state" after "millions" turned out to vote in a banned independence referendum.

"With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form a republic," he said in a televised announcement after polls had closed.

Before the results were announced, he said he would keep his pledge to declare independence unilaterally within 48 hours of the vote if the "Yes" side won the referendum.


People hold Catalan flags as they listen to Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speak via a televised press conference as they await the result of the Indepenence Referendum at the Placa de Catalunya Credit: Getty
"Today the Spanish state wrote another shameful page in its history with Catalonia," he said, adding that he would appeal to the European Union to look into alleged human rights violations during Sunday's vote.

Violence broke out across Catalonia as armoured police moved in to break up the vote.

Video footage showed officers from Spain's national police - 4,000 of whom had been brought in by the government to help quash the ballot - fighting with elderly voters, some of whom were left bleeding, and dragging young women away from polling stations by their hair.

Amid tense scenes, uniformed Catalan firefighters appeared to act as human shields to protect voters from advancing lines of police.


Firemen try to hold a group of people in front of Spanish Guardia Civil officers outside a polling station in San Julia de Ramis Credit: LUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Responding to the unfolding crisis, Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, told the Daily Telegraph last night: "Obviously we are very anxious about any violence. We hope that things will sort themselves out, though clearly you have to be sensitive to the constitutional proprieties."

He added: "As I understand it the referendum is not legal, so there are difficulties."

Nicola Sturgeon described the Foreign Office's statement as "shamefully weak".

Statement from @foreignoffice on #Catalonia is shamefully weak. A true friend of Spain would tell them today’s actions wrong and damaging. pic.twitter.com/bBnCmn5BWw

— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) October 1, 2017
"A true friend of Spain would tell them today’s actions wrong and damaging," Scotland's First Minister said.

Andrew Rosindell, a Tory MP who sits on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said he believed the European Union’s response would have been much stronger if such scenes were playing out in other EU countries.

He told the Daily Telegraph the European Union was "showing itself again to be completely hypocritical".


Spanish police push people with a shield outside a polling station in Barcelona Credit: PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images
Mr Rosindell accused the Spanish government of trying to “bully the people” and that the violence “shows both Spain and the EU in a very bad light”.

He said: “For years the Spanish have used the Guardia Civil to make life as difficult as possible for Gibraltar and they are using the same police force again to attack the people of Catalonia.

“In other circumstances there is no doubt the EU would be coming down like a tonne of bricks. They are demonstrating double standards: If this was happening in Hungary or another country there would certainly be a different reaction.”

While some MEPs including Guy Verhofstadt - the parliament's Brexit negotiator - condemned the police violence as 'disproportionate', the European Commission said it would not respond to the crisis until Monday.


European leaders were also noticeably silent. The only voice emerging from Brussels was that of the Belgium prime minister, Charles Michel.

On Twitter, he called for political dialogue to resolve the crisis, insisting: “Violence can never be the answer!”

Spain, meanwhile, did not waver in its assertion that the referendum - which was ordered suspended by the Spanish constitutional court - is illegal, and that its hand has been forced by a Catalan government it claims is engaged in a coup.

Spain's foreign minister Alfonso Dastis said the violence was "unfortunate" and "unpleasant" but "proportionate", blaming the violence exclusively on Mr Puigdemont and his regional government.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy last night said: "We did what we had to do", describing the ballot as a “premeditated attack on the legality of the Spanish state faced down with serenity by the forces of order”.

Making no mention of the large number of people injured in police charges outside polling stations, Mr Rajoy said: “Democracy won today because the Constitution was upheld”.

He said the police 'performed their duty' in Catalonia.


People clash with Spanish Guardia Civil guards Credit: RAYMOND ROIG/AFP/Getty Images
The Spanish deputy prime minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, blasted the Catalan government’s “irresponsibility” in insisting on holding an “illegal referendum with no democratic guarantees”, demanding that they end what she described as a “farce”.

The Catalan government contends it has been forced to go ahead with the unilateral poll, saying it has been left no other option after the central government consistently refused substantive negotiations over the region’s status.

In the event of a "Yes" vote, Mr Puigdemont plans to make a unilateral declaration of independence 48 hours after the results, which are expected to be announced Monday.

He told The Telegraph last week that he would then be seeking dialogue with Spain and the European Union, insisting that Europe could no longer "keep looking the other way".

Mr Puigdemont insisted Sunday that the poll had been carried out successfully despite the police crackdown, with voting taking place in 95 percent of polling stations.


Spanish National riot policemen form a security cordon around the Ramon Llull school Credit: EPA/Alberto Estevez
"Batons against ballot boxes, violence against public spirit," he said, claiming "the shame will stay with (Spain) forever". Security concerns even had an impact on Sunday’s football.

FC Barcelona initially suspended its home match against Las Palmas as a precaution, but ended up playing behind closed doors after Spain’s RFEF federation rejected the postponement.

The European Commission, the EU’s civil service, has repeatedly backed the Spanish government and constitutional court’s stance that the vote is illegal.

Thousands clash with police in Barcelona protests 01:04
Yesterday the EC told The Telegraph it had nothing to add a statement made by Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday, when he backed “the rule of law” in Spain.

But human rights groups and politicians from around the world contended that regardless of the legality of the poll, the heavy-handed response went beyond what was unacceptable in a 21st century democracy.

Andrew Stroehlein, of Human Rights Watch, said that despite the court suspension, the government had a duty to protect the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

The EU would “have to say something more soon,” he suggested. Catalans have expressed particular concern about the use of rubber bullets, which the Catalan police force are banned from using, and which left one person needing eye surgery yesterday.


There were suggestions from several quarters that the Commission was taking a much laxer stance on Spain, a valued member of the EU core with an important stake in Brexit negotiations, than it would against other member states.

“The fundamental rights of EU citizens are being damaged by this disproportionate use of violence against peaceful citizens,” Amadeu Altafaj, the permanent representative of the Catalan government to the EU in Brussels told the Telegraph.

“For some countries like Poland there are strict standards but when it comes to Spain, there seems to be a lot of complacency.”

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Tactical Frog

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The European nation states are starting to crumble and reverting back to tiny lands with retards at top.

Next stop Scotland.

Scotland is not part of the original English nation state. I think the UK will do just as fine without Scotland if secession happens. The same is not true for Spain, Catalonia accounting for 20 % of Spanish GDP.

I was not a supporter of Catalonia independence but after seeing the brutality of Spanish police against a non-violent crowd including elderly people I can only understand their hopes now. Something deeply wrong with Spanish government mindset.
 

Razor

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Scotland is not part of the original English nation state. I think the UK will do just as fine without Scotland if secession happens. The same is not true for Spain, Catalonia accounting for 20 % of Spanish GDP.

I was not a supporter of Catalonia independence but after seeing the brutality of Spanish police against a non-violent crowd including elderly people I can only understand their hopes now. Something deeply wrong with Spanish government mindset.
Isn't there a bit of Catalonia in France too??
 

Rahul Prakash

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The European nation states are starting to crumble and reverting back to tiny lands with retards at top.

Next stop Scotland.
This is good that less united they are the less they are able to push the sjw agenda abroad that is all I care about.the EU is bad for Europe as it is the primary force for deracinating Europe so is it not better for countries to seperate as it can improve that situation even by a little bit.
 

Rahul Prakash

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It good Our constitution don't have provisions for referendum
The EU is not a nation state and is completely artificial and infact exists to dilute and deracinating the constituent nations so it is good that they are leaving.either EU makes Europe defacto or dejure for white people or they deserve to be discarded.

What we should learn is that we as India should not strive to be like EU that wants be a meaningless geographical entity and strive to be a sanctuary for indians only instead for migrant rejects or the world's losers(refugees)
 

sthf

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Scotland is not part of the original English nation state. I think the UK will do just as fine without Scotland if secession happens.
England also believes that they are better off without EU so I'd like to wait and watch.
 

Razor

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The EU is not a nation state and is completely artificial and infact exists to dilute and deracinating the constituent nations so it is good that they are leaving.either EU makes Europe defacto or dejure for white people or they deserve to be discarded.

What we should learn is that we as India should not strive to be like EU that wants be a meaningless geographical entity and strive to be a sanctuary for indians only instead for migrant rejects or the world's losers(refugees)
Incase you don't know India is not a "nation state" either.
There are by definition only a few states that can claim to be "nation states" and they would be the two koreas, Japan, Armenia, and perhaps Poland and Croatia. Perhaps there are a few more but that is it.
India would be a federated Republican State, like most other states on the planet.
And EU would be a supra-national union of states.
 

Willy2

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As usual , Commi stronghold is most separesist region in Spain...these vermin are always anti-national..wonder whom they serve !!!!
 

Tactical Frog

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Isn't there a bit of Catalonia in France too??

I guess some people north of the Spanish borders speak catalan yeah. But it is all about maintaining a cultural heritage and they would never think about joining an independent Catalonia.

I guess that French gov is worried that Corsicans or even Basque speakers in France might follow the Catalonian way though. Corsica is a perfect candidate.
 

YagamiLight

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Amid tense scenes, uniformed Catalan firefighters appeared to act as human shields to protect voters from advancing lines of police.






People clash with Spanish Guardia Civil guards Credit: RAYMOND ROIG/AFP/Getty Images




The Civlised superior behavior of beacon for all humanity and freedom- the western government and their civilisation:rofl:

I bet you dirty Indians are the only ones which school the Kashmiri turds with police brutality. But the western superior civilised governments dont use police brutality at all. Watch and learn Indians . Watch and learn humanity and freedom of expression from western trash:lol:
 

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