Economy

Catalan parliament to meet on Monday, defying Spain

Catalan parliament to meet on Monday, defying Spain”

The move confirms a trend that started after Catalans voted on Sunday for secession from Spain in a poll not recognised by Madrid which in turn introduced legislation on Friday to make relocations easier.

President of the Catalan parliament Carme Forcadell (C) attends a meeting with parliament representatives at the Parliament in Barcelona on 4 October 2017.

Spanish police, following orders from a judge to prevent the referendum, clashed with voters and supporters Sunday, resulting in over 900 people receiving medical attention.

Forcadell called the court decision "an unusual and extremely serious event in a democratic Parliament" that violated "freedom of speech".

"The 155 needs wide-ranging backing because we don't know whether it will resolve problems, and if it's only backed by one party in congress then it will be hard to obtain the backing of a majority of Catalans", said Rafael Hernando, who serves as a parliamentary organizer for the PP.

So far, only center-right Ciudadanos said this week it was in favor of sacking the Catalan government, dissolving the parliament and holding regional elections.

Directly addressing the king, he added: "Not like this".

The Spanish government in turn said it "strongly rejects the accusations" Puigdemont directed at the King.

"If Mr Puigdemont wants to talk or negotiate, or wants to send mediators, he know perfectly what he first needs to do: go back to the law", the statement said.

On Thursday, Spain's Constitutional Court ordered Catalonia's parliament to suspend a planned session next week during which separatist lawmakers plan to declare independence.

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Catalonia is the country's richest region, accounting for a fifth of Spain's economy and home to thousands of domestic and foreign companies employing millions of people.

In some cases, police used batons and rubber bullets to evict people from the voting centres and confiscate the ballot boxes.

Spain's central authorities have deemed the referendum illegal and a Constitutional Court suspended it.

The case is linked to September 20-21 demonstrations in Barcelona, when Spanish police arrested several Catalan government officials and raided offices in a crackdown on referendum preparations.

Faced with uncertainty, on Thursday, Banco Sabadell, one of Catalonia's largest banks, announced that it would move its registered headquarters outside the Catalonia region to the eastern city of Alicante.

This lasted until the reign of King Philip V. The War of the Spanish Succession ended with the defeat of Valencia in 1707, of Catalonia in 1714, and finally with the last of the islands in 1715 - resulting in the birth of modern-day Spain.

Massive protests and a strike took place Tuesday in Catalonia against the police actions and the situation in the northeastern region is close to boiling point. Puigdemont told the BBC it would be "an error which changes everything".

Protesters rally in support of independence for Catalonia, in Barcelona.

A trickle of companies fleeing the restive Spanish region of Catalonia threatened to turn into a flood Friday as a second major bank and two more firms said they would move their head offices to other parts of the country.



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