Spain's Socialist party agrees with gov't to ask Catalonia to clarify

Spain's Socialist party agrees with gov't to ask Catalonia to clarify

Spain's Socialist party agrees with gov't to ask Catalonia to clarify

Spain and Catalonia now enter into the unknown, as Madrid has repeatedly said independence is not up for discussion.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy took advantage Wednesday of the previous evening's fudged declaration of independence by the country's Catalan region, boosting the Euro against other currencies and lifting the prices of Spanish stocks and government bonds.

Mr Rajoy has vowed to use everything in his power to prevent independence and has refused to rule out imposing direct rule over the semi-autonomous region - an unprecedented move many fear could lead to unrest. Puigdemont announced in the regional parliament on Tuesday that he had accepted the mandate for "Catalonia to become an independent state" following the contested referendum.

The Spanish government tried to stop voting and hundreds of people were hurt in scuffles with police at polling stations.

Nearly 90% of voters backed independence with a turnout of 43%, Catalan officials say.

For some of his supporters, it was close enough to count.

"We call on worldwide states and organisations to recognise the Catalan republic as an independent and sovereign state", he said.

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Lauren Frayer, reporting for NPR from Barcelona, spoke to graduate student Eugenio Juli√°, who "is paying close attention because he's anxious the terms of his grad school scholarship might change if Catalonia leaves Spain and the European Union", Frayer says.

"It was not very straightforward". "He was very ambiguous".

Tusk stated, "I appeal to you not only as the President of the European Council, but also as a strong believer in the motto of the EU: "United in diversity", as a member of an ethnic minority and a regionalist and as a man who knows what it feels like to be hit by a police baton".

He calls Puigdemont's speech "confusing" and says it's time for the Catalan government to say - in a simple yes-or-no - whether they're declaring independence or not.

Speaking to CNN on Wednesday, Catalan President Puigdemont explained that he had taken this position in order to comply with worldwide requests for peaceful dialogue. "The Catalan separatist leader was very clear about asking for dialogue".

But he proposed that the regional parliament of the wealthy region should suspend the effects of the declaration to commence a dialogue and help reduce tension, in what is Spain's worst political crisis in decades.

If Carles Puigdemont confirms by Monday that he has, he will be given a further three days to withdraw the declaration.

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