Rare national address from Spain's king carries shades of '23-F' crisis

Rare national address from Spain's king carries shades of '23-F' crisis

Rare national address from Spain's king carries shades of '23-F' crisis

The European Parliament is set to debate the crisis in Catalonia on Wednesday amid mounting criticism of a deafening silence in Brussels.

Ms Bell stayed in Girona which is about an hour from Barcelona and her party managed to escape the scenes of violence which were seen elsewhere in the region.

Sitting at his desk in Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, the king said the central government must ensure constitutional order in Catalonia.

He also said it was the duty of any Government to uphold the rule of law and sometimes that requires the "proportionate use of force". Spanish police left over 900 voters and others injured as they tried to stop the vote, and say over 400 police were left with bruises. Yet ultimately, who outside of Spain would be ready to give the necessary global support to a Catalan state? Spain's conservative government has said it will respond with "all necessary measures" to counter Catalan defiance, and is holding talks with opposition leaders to forge a consensus over what to do in response.

"These are hard times, but we will get over them and go forward, because we believe in our country and are proud of what we are".

Officials claim that 90% of Catalans who voted backed leaving Spain, but turnout for the referendum barely exceeded 40%.

Large crowds of independence supporters gathered in the centre of the regional capital Barcelona on Sunday evening, waving flags and singing the Catalan anthem.

Spain's King Felipe VI has condemned organisers of Catalonia's independence referendum for having put themselves "outside the law".

Mr Puigdemont, who earlier said Catalonia had won the right to statehood and the door was now open to a unilateral declaration of independence, said he had had no contact with the government in Madrid led by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Any attempt of the authorities in Madrid to override the Catalan regional government in a bid to hinder its actions in compliance with results of Sunday's popular vote would be "an error which changes everything", Puigdemont warned.

He insisted that the Commission saw the matter as an internal one for Spain: "That is why the Commission has called on all relevant actors to now move quickly from confrontation to dialogue". At one point, one Spanish liberal lawmaker held up a copy of the post-dictatorship constitution, brandishing it at Catalan separatists and saying Catalans voted for it in 1978.

"There are people who interpret the Constitution like the Bible, like it contains absolute truths, that it's more important than the will of the people", the Catalonian leader said. More noteworthy, and indeed damning, was how the EU statement outlined that the referendum was illegal and that Catalonia would find itself outside the union's orbit even if it had been legal. "We are under observation day and night", Puigdemont said.

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