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George S. 10-10-2015 12:06 AM

Catalonia president: Majority in Parliament = Secede from Spain
Catalonia president: Majority in Parliament = Secede from Spain
Saturday, 05 September 2015


Catalonia's president vowed Friday to begin seceding from Spain if pro-independence parties win a majority of seats -- not votes -- in regional parliament elections set for later this month.

Catalonia's main pro-independence parties have agreed for the first time to run on a single unified list dubbed "Together for the Yes" in the September 27 regional vote

The goal is to turn the ballot into a referendum on independence and secure a popular mandate for a break with Spain.

"If the all the options which are in favour of the yes have an absolute majority of lawmakers we will move forward," Catalan president Artur Mas said during an interview with Onda Cero radio.

Under Catalonia's proportional representation system Mas's pro-independence coalition could win a majority of 68 seats in the 135-seat Catalan assembly even if it gets fewer votes than parties that oppose independence.

Unlike Scotland's referendum on independence, which was recognised by London and resulted in a vote to stay in the United Kingdom, Spain's conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has refused to allow a plebiscite in Catalonia on the grounds it would be against the constitution.

If the pro-independence coalition wins the elections, their goal is to push through an 18-month roadmap for secession for the region of some 7.5 million people which accounts for a fifth of Spain's economic output.

According to the most recent polls 50 percent of Catalonia's people are opposed to independence, while 43 support breaking from Spain.

Asked if he would push ahead with the secession plan even if a majority of Catalans oppose it, Mas said: "Yes, I have been forced to count the lawmakers."

"I prefer to count ballots, that is what I have tried for two and a half years," he added.

Mas staged a symbolic independence referendum in November 2014 after the government used the courts to block his plan to hold an official referendum.

About 80 percent of the 2.2 million people who voted backed secession, but the turnout was little more than 40 percent.

George S. 10-10-2015 12:07 AM

.4m Catalans gather for Independence from Spain
.4m Catalans gather for Independence from Spain
Friday, 11 September 2015


At least 1.4 million of Catalans have filled the streets of Barcelona, calling for secession from Spain, as the region prepares to go to the polls in what local politicians say will serve as a proxy vote for independence.

The rally’s organizers said that up to 2 million demonstrators took to the streets of Barcelona, while the Catalan news agency (CNA) put the figure at 1.4 million people.

“We see the immense capacity of the mobilization of our people, who want to be listened to. We want the world to see that,” the leader of the ‘Junts pel Sí’ (Together for Yes) coalition, Raul Romeva, said, as cited by CNA.

The massive pro-independence rally, dubbed “Gateway to the Catalan Republic” (Via Lliure cap a la República Catalana), took place on Catalonia’s national Day, September 11.

Jordi Sanchez, the president of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) said he believed the rally will be one of the largest in Catalonia’s history.

The demonstrators, who marched under banners bearing the slogan "Let's start building a new country" came to Barcelona from all parts of Catalonia by car, buses and rail.

The rally stretched along one of the city’s main avenues.

In the late afternoon, people started filling the streets of Barcelona for the march that was scheduled to start at 17:14 (15:14 GMT) local time, referring to the year 1714 when Barcelona was defeated by Bourbon troops. The Catalans lost their independence and sovereignty to Spanish and French forces in the War of the Spanish Succession on September 11 of that year. Since 1886, it has been celebrated as the National Day of Catalonia, or Diada in Spanish.

A giant arrow pointer, symbolizing the way to the Catalan Republic, was carried along Meridiana Avenue. The march started at Roselló Porcel Street, considered the entrance to Barcelona, and continued all the way up to the Catalan parliament located in Parc de la Ciutadella.

The demonstration took place on the same day as the kick off of an electoral campaign that has been framed as a de facto vote on the region’s secession from the rest of Spain. Catalonia’s regional election is to take place on September 27.

The “Together for Yes” (‘Junts pel Sí’) coalition is expected to win a majority of at least 68 seats in the 135-seat regional assembly.

Carlin15 10-15-2019 10:10 PM

[B]Clashes erupt in Barcelona as Catalan separatists protest sentences for leaders[/B]


[B]BARCELONA, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Protesters and police clashed late on Tuesday in Barcelona during rallies against the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders, with the unusually tense confrontations turning into a major challenge for Spanish and regional authorities.[/B]

Protesters threw cans, stones and flares at riot police, and set garbage containers and cardboard on fire in the middle of several streets in Barcelona, including a thoroughfare housing designer stores and the stock exchange.

Fences were on fire next to La Pedrera, one of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi's most famous buildings and one of the city's main tourist attractions.

Police charged several times through the crowd with batons and fired foam projectiles at the protesters. A spokesman for the regional Mossos police said they were trying to make space around the local headquarters of the Spanish government. Four people were detained, the spokesman said.

A Reuters cameraman was hit by police in the leg while filming them charge at protesters. The cameraman, clearly identified as a journalist by a press armband, was hit from behind by a police baton.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:43 PM.

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