Catalonia declares independence from Spain

Catalonia Parliament has declared independence from Spain ahead of a vote in the senate which will see Madrid seize region’s autonomous powers, reported the Independent.

Seventy Catalan deputies voted for independence, with 10 opposed and two blank ballot slips.

The vote in the regional parliament followed a tense week of last-ditch negotiations between Madrid and Barecelona.

Rounds of applause broke out in the chamber as members of the parliament hugged and shook hands. Opposition lawmakers had walked out of the chamber ahead of Friday’s vote in protest.

People, present in thousands outside the Catalan Parliament were watching the proceedings live. As soon as the motion was passed, the broke into cheering and dancing.

The motion calls for beginning an independence process that includes drafting Catalonia’s new top laws and opening negotiations “on equal footing” with Spanish authorities to establish co-operation.

On Thursday Catalan president Carles Puigdemont had ruled out calling a snap election, thought to have been a potential way of defusing tension with the central government.

He had  said that he had not received sufficient guarantees that Madrid would hold off on its attempts to take control of the region.

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy immediately after the development has called for calm. He tweeted that rule of law will be restored in Catalonia.


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