Spain threatens to suspend Catalonia's autonomy in crisis

Spain threatens to suspend Catalonia's autonomy in crisis

Under Catalonia's referendum law, deemed unconstitutional by Madrid, a vote for independence would start a six-month process that would envisage divorce talks with Spain before regional elections and a final act of separation.

However, y did not apply for a chance to negotiate with Madrid.

Puigdemont said the referendum had given him a mandate for independence but immediately asked regional lawmakers to suspend the declaration to allow for negotiations with the central government.

"This requirement is necessary when activating article 155 of the constitution".

Many Catalans have long highlighted the region's differences from the rest of Spain but the latest surge for independence began in 2010, when Spain's top court struck down key parts of a charter that would have granted Catalonia greater autonomy and recognized it as a nation within Spain.

Catalan separatists remain furious at the actions of Spanish national police and Guardia Civil when they sought to disrupt the independence referendum, which saw officers raiding polling stations, beating voters and firing rubber bullets at crowds. He said this includes the use of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which would allow the central government to take control of the governance of a region "if the regional government does not comply with the obligations of the Constitution".

Armed forces will march down Madrid's Paseo de la Castellana boulevard to mark the day that Christopher Columbus first arrived in the Americas in 1492 while a pro-unity rally by members of the far-right is expected in the Catalan capital, Barcelona.

Some Catalan secessionists are angry with Puigdemont for not opting for an immediate break with Spain. They appear to be putting their hopes on worldwide mediation and have pressed European leaders to intervene, something Paris, Berlin and Brussels have said they will not do.

Catalonia's bid for independence has raised concerns about the stability of the European Union with Brussels urging "full respect of the Spanish constitutional order". To look for dialogue.

Pedro Sanchez, leader of opposition Socialist Party, said party and government agreed to address possibilities of constitutional reform in order to end crisis.

Catalan lawyers, civil society groups and politicians in Catalonia and elsewhere in Spain have offered to mediate between the two sides, but the prime minister rejected the offers while thanking those who made them.

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