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The head of the regional government in Barcelona wants to negotiate with Madrid about the status of Catalonia. This has averted the worsening of the crisis for the time being.

Catalonia: Puigdemont pushes declaration of independence

The head of the regional government in Barcelona wants to negotiate with Madrid about the status of Catalonia. This has averted the worsening of the crisis for the time being.

Catalonia: Puigdemont pushes declaration of independence

The head of government of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, has not proclaimed independence from Spain in his eagerly awaited speech before Parliament. He put out process of independence, said 54-year-old in Barcelona. The aim is to talk to central government in Madrid in coming weeks and to reach a conciliation. The Catalans had clearly expressed ir independence in referendum on 1 October, thus acquiring right to become an independent state. However, he suggested that Parliament wait a few weeks and enter into dialogue. This is a responsible gesture.

Puigdemont said that Catalan people had given him mandate to declare independence at ballot box. He wants to hold back, however, to get into conversation. The situation should not be exacerbated, but must be deescalated. The only way forward is one of democracy and peace. One must speak with each or. The Catalans have nothing against Spain or Spaniards. Rar, he wants to understand each or better.

Criticism of opposition and from Madrid

With this gesture, head of regional government has avoided a furr worsening of crisis for time being. Supporters of independence among MEPs applauded Puigdemont after speech. However, opposition of regional Parliament expressed its speech as a coup. In Europe, his actions have no support, said opposition leader Inés Arrimadas of party Ciudadanos. Most Catalans felt that y were Catalans, Spaniards and Europeans. The central government in Madrid is also reluctant to react. The "implicit" declaration of Independence of Catalonia was "inadmissible," said a government spokesman in Madrid.

In his speech, Puigdemont had sharply criticized central government in Madrid. She rejected every attempt of dialogue: "The answer was always a radical and absolute refusal, combined with persecution of Catalan institutions," said Catalan head of government. Addressed to all Spaniards, he added: "We are not criminals, no lunatics, no coup."

Time Online

On Sunday, a week ago, Puigdemont had to hold a referendum on independence – notwithstanding a ban by Constitutional Court and against will of central government in Madrid. Opponents of secession had boycotted majority. The survey thus won "Yes" camp with about 90 percent, but only 43 percent of participation. Puigdemont complained subsequently, so that Catalonia obtained "right to independence".

Cheering in front of Parliament building

His appearance in front of regional parliament was eagerly anticipated. Shortly before his speech, interior Minister of central government, Juan Ignacio Zoido, had made a "last call" to Puigdemont to refrain from a declaration of independence.

From afternoon onwards, more and more followers of independence movement had gared near parliament. The mood was tense, but peaceful. On square in front of Parliament, applauding always cheers when Puigdemont spoke of outcome of referendum.

Both vote and its result are highly controversial in Spain and also in Catalonia. In regional capital of Barcelona, hundreds of thousands of people had gone to streets on Sunday. In view of independence aspirations, large companies and banks had already announced that y would move from Catalonia to central Spain.

The development of evening in detail in Liveblog

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