Such moves were likely to turn the boisterous separatist street celebrations that greeted the independence declaration on Friday into mass protests, with one Catalan labor union already calling on workers to stage a general strike on Monday. Rajoy extraordinary powers to seize direct administrative control over the region and remove secessionist politicians, including Mr. Puigdemont, the Catalan leader.
In a speech on Friday before the vote, Mr. Undeterred by Mr. Most of the opponents to independence walked out of the chamber in protest before the vote, which the remaining lawmakers held via secret ballot, aware that declaring independence from Spain could risk arrest.
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Since the referendum, Mr. Puigdemont had been squeezed in a tightening vise of his own creation, and seemed at times to contradict his own declarations as he squirmed for a way out. European leaders made clear on Friday that they would not be recognizing Catalan independence and would support Mr. Searching for a compromise, Mr.
But Madrid would offer no guarantee that it would not clamp down on the region, Mr. Puigdemont said, as he immediately faced a revolt in his own ranks from secessionist hard-liners who called him a traitor. After hours of wavering on Thursday, he relented and threw the decision on independence to Catalan lawmakers, who took the fateful plunge on Friday. In front of the assembly, he tore apart a copy of the independence resolution. Catalan lawmakers who voted for independence could face prosecution for sedition, or even rebellion. In the streets outside the Catalan Parliament in Barcelona, not far from a boisterous pro-independence rally, a few Catalans quietly expressed similar frustrations.
The Oct. Escolar said, while smoking a cigarette outside his cafe. Puigdemont told reporters on Friday that Belgian authorities had allowed him to remain free without bail. Every evening at UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.
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Riot police have confronted thousands of protesters outside Barcelona's airport. The unrest came after Spain's Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to prison terms of up to 13 years. Protesters blocked streets, staged sit-ins and clashed with police, in a second day of unrest in the region of Catalonia. The Spanish government condemned the separatists, saying it was "not a peaceful movement. Catalan President Quim Torra has called for a new independence referendum within two years.
Violent protests continue after Spain's Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan leaders to jail terms for the referendum. Catalonians enraged over the imprisonment of separatist leaders are presenting Madrid with one of its biggest challenges in months. The latest violence came as protesters began a three-day march to the regional capital.
Hundreds of thousands of people held a peaceful march in Barcelona demanding independence for Catalonia. Later, demonstrations turned violent and police clashed with protesters, deploying water cannon and firing tear gas. The violent unrest in Barcelona is the first major incident since the city was rocked by days of rioting. Earlier, , independence supporters rallied peacefully in the regional capital.
In Barcelona, fresh protests against the jailing of nine separatist leaders have impacted the entire city. A general strike by pro-independence unions has brought much of the Catalan capital to a halt.
Principality of Catalonia
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News Catalonia holds general strike as protesters descend on Barcelona Huge crowds are converging on Barcelona as part of a mass demonstration in support of Catalan independence.