Catalan parliament to meet as direct rule imposed by Spanish government

Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis denies 'coup' by Madrid

LAST UPDATED: 23 Oct, 2017 @ 09:21
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THE Catalan government could be set to make a unilateral declaration of independence as Spain denies carrying out a ‘coup’ on the region.

The parliament will meet today after Madrid began the process of imposing direct rule on Catalunya this weekend.

‘COUP’: Puigdemont slams Madrid over imposition of direct rule

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont described the move as the ‘worst attack on Catalan institutions’ since General Franco’s dictatorship.

“What we decide through voting is to be wiped out by the government in their offices,” Puigdemont said.

He accused Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government of attempting to ‘destroy our autonomous government, our democracy’.

Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis denied a claim by the Catalan parliament’s speaker Carme Forcadell that the measures were ‘a de facto coup d’etat’.

“If anyone has attempted a coup, it is the Catalan regional government,” Dastis said.

The Catalans have rejected a call for fresh regional elections.

Puigdemont signed a declaration of independence on October 10, but offered to suspend the call for two months to allow dialogue with Madrid.

But the Spanish government rejected the call, with an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday setting the ball in motion for the imposition of direct rule.

Some 90% of Catalans voted for independence in the October 1 referendum, which Madrid viewed as illegal.

Catalan regional government spokesman Jordi Turull said 2.26 million people cast their ballot.

Around 900 people were injured following heavy-handed police tactics on the day of the vote.

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