Catalan Leaders Vow to Resist Spain’s Attempted Takeover ~
Catalonia leader Carles Puigdemont: Removing powers 'worst attack since Franco dictatorship'
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Barcelona to protest against the PM's plans to stop secession.
Parliament Speaker Blasts Spanish PM's 'Coup' Attempt
Top figures within the autonomous region of Catalonia are promising to act to resist the announced takeover of their territory by the Spanish central government, saying they have no intention of complying with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s announcement.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont says that Rajoy’s declaration is the worst attack on Catalonia since the era of Spain’s military dictatorship,promising to consult with the regional parliament on an appropriate response.
Catalan Parliament Speaker Carme Forcadell concurred, accusing Rajoy of attempting a “coup” against Catalonia, adding the he “wants the parliament of Catalonia to stop being a parliament, and we will not allow this to happen.”
Catalonia’s public remains out in force in Barcelona in support of secession,having already voted overwhelmingly for it on the October 1 referendum. They see Spain’s effort to revoke Catalan autonomy as proof they need to declare independence and get away from Spain as soon as possible.
On the streets of Barcelona, people banged pots and pans and drivers beeped their horns. By Saturday evening tens of thousands of people had turned out on the streets to demonstrate. There have been no reports of violence.
Autonomy is a hugely sensitive issue in Catalonia, which saw its powers taken away under Spain's military dictatorship.
Home to 7.5 million people, the region fiercely defends its own language and culture.
Meanwhile, King Felipe has said Catalonia "is and will remain an essential part of 21st century Spain".
In an unusually emotional speech at a prize-giving ceremony, he said the Spanish government would resolve the fight over Catalonia's bid for independence through "legitimate democratic institutions".