[Referendum in Catalonia, 1 October 2017]: Catalan premier announces he will declare independence in coming days / ‘Today democracy has prevailed because the Constitution has been upheld’, says Mariano Rajoy / King Philip VI addresses the nation

Series Title
Series Details 02.10.17
Publication Date 02/10/2017
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For full information in ESO on the Catalan independence referendum, 2017 click here.Results and analysis of the independence referendum that was held by the Catalan government in the Spanish region / country of Catalonia on the 1 October 2017. The holding of the referendum was opposed by the Spanish government and had been declared illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court.

Catalan officials claimed that preliminary results of the referendum had shown 90% of the 2.26 million Catalans who voted were in favour of independence. Catalonia had 5.3 million registered voters. The main groups opposing independence had recommended to their supporters not to take part in the referendum [Final results were issued on the 6 October 2017 and showed that 90% of the 2.3 million people who voted backed independence. Turnout was 43%].

In the evening of the 1 October 2017 Catalan regional President Carles Puigdemont declared that Catalonia had 'earned the right to be an independent state'.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy addressed Spain on television in the evening of the 1 October 2017. He said that his government had been forced to uphold the 'rule of law' against secessionists.

During the day of the referendum National Police and Civil Guard riot squads entered several polling stations in Barcelona and across Catalonia to try to prevent polling from taking place. Some violent incidents and scuffles took place. However, Catalan spokespersons said that over 70% of polling stations had been open for voting. Catalan emergency officials said 761 people had been injured (some reports suggested higher numbers had been injured).

Leading Catalan trade unions and pro-independence civil society associations called in the evening of the 1 October October 2017 for a 'total stoppage' in Catalonia on the 3 October 2017 as a protest against 'the grave violation of rights and freedoms'.

No formal international election monitoring had taken place by an unofficial but experienced International Election Expert Research Team of seventeen observers carried out an election monitoring exercise. The spokesman for the Team stated that the referendum had been 'a success' despite 'difficult circumstances.

On the 2 October 2017, the day following the referendum, Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy met leaders of other political parties in Madrid, including Pedro Sanchez, leader of the opposition Socialists, and centrist Albert Rivera. The government issued a statement saying Mr Rajoy was seeking a joint response to the crisis.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont called for international mediation.

In a statement the European Commission said: 'Under the Spanish Constitution, yesterday's vote in Catalonia was not legal.

For the European Commission, as President Juncker has reiterated repeatedly, this is an internal matter for Spain that has to be dealt with in line with the constitutional order of Spain.

We also reiterate the legal position held by this Commission as well as by its predecessors. If a referendum were to be organised in line with the Spanish Constitution it would mean that the territory leaving would find itself outside of the European Union'.

King Felipe of Spain addressed the nation on television in the evening of the 3 October 2017. He said that Catalan leaders had showed their 'disrespect to the powers of the state'.

'They have broken the democratic principles of the rule of law'.

However, he stressed that Spain 'will overcome difficult times'.

In an interview with the BBC broadcast on the 3 October 2017 Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said Catalonia would declare independence from Spain in a matter of days, when the final and definitive results from the referendum were announced on the 6 October, or soon after.

A special session was called on the 4 October 2017 of the Catalan Parliament to be held on the 10 October 2017 at which the Catalan government was expected to announce independence. However, the Spanish Constitutional Court decided on the 4 October 2017 to preemptively suspend this special session.

Source Link https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/09/29/inenglish/1506680598_177837.html
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The Guardian, 02.10.17: Catalan referendum: preliminary results show 90% in favour of independence https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/01/dozens-injured-as-riot-police-storm-catalan-ref-polling-stations
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