Juncker warns Europe has ‘no room for other fractures’ as Puigdemont calls on Catalans to resist Madrid rule

28 Oct

In the Spanish capital, protesters hit the streets today, against Catalonia’s declaration of independence, which while lacking any legal basis has caused strife in a region deeply divided on whether to split from Spain.

Yesterday, in Barcelona and other Catalan cities, thousands celebrated their regional parliament’s motion for independence, which passed with 70 votes for, 10 against and two absentions in a 135-seat chamber that anti-secession MPs had deserted in protest.

Demonstrators in Barcelona broke out in ecstatic shouts of: “Independence!” as the result was announced, while separatist MPs cheered, clapped and embraced before breaking out in the Catalan anthem.

But others glumly assessed the fallout to what they viewed as a hugely damaging and illegal vote.

“They’re forgetting part of the people, the majority,” said Josep Reina, a 34-year-old salesman.

The move to take over Catalan powers is likely to anger many in a region of some 7.5 million people that enjoyed considerable autonomy, with control over its education, healthcare and police.

It is the first time that the central government has curtailed regional autonomy since dictator Francisco Franco’s repressive 1939-75 rule.

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