Catalonia urges mediation with Spain in secession fight

World Today

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has called for international mediation following a violent independence referendum.

Spanish police clashed with voters on Sunday while attempting to access polling stations. The Catalan government is setting up a commission to examine possible human rights violations.

CGTN’s Dan Williams reports.

The scars of a bloody and violent independence referendum remain behind.

Hours earlier, police clashed with voters who had blocked their path at polling stations across Catalonia.

Much of region came to standstill for 10 minutes at midday on Monday to protest the police violence.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont announced that a commission would be set up to examine alleged human rights violations. He also called for the Spanish National police and the Guardia Civil to move out of Catalonia and leave the policing to the Catalan Mossos force.

“We require the withdrawal of all police forces deployed in Catalonia in order to end these repressive operations, which have caused serious acts of violence in a country that has protested for years with millions of people without any incidents,”  Puigdemont said.

Outside of the police building, demonstrators demanded their voices be heard. 

Following an emergency minsters’ meeting, it was announced the result of the referendum would be put before the Catalan Parliament.

Puigdemont has called for international mediation. 

Despite a 90 percent vote in support of independence, some Catalan politicians believe the focus now should be on securing a legal and binding poll. 

“I think we cannot say there was a referendum to freely decide, but what we need today is to start immediate political negotiations to have a real binding referendum as what we saw is that there are lots of people who want to decide and have a real referendum,” Ernest Urtasun, European Parliament Member said.

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy met opposition leaders in Madrid to discuss the issue. Rajoy had earlier dismissed the referendum.

The European Commission has called for a stop to confrontation and for dialogue to begin. The next step is difficult to predict. But what is clear is that both sides are now more polarized than ever.