Spanish court suspends Catalonia’s parliamentary session on independence

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woman wearing an estelada or independence flag A woman wearing an estelada or independence flag walks a long a street covered with referendum ballots threw by pro-independence demonstrators, during a rally in front of the Spanish Partido Popular ruling party headquarters in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday Oct. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Spain’s Constitutional Court has ordered the temporary suspension of a special session of Catalonia’s parliament next week where regional officials are expected to possibly vote on breaking away from Spain.

CGTN’s Dan Williams reports.

The opposition Socialist bloc in the regional parliament, where separatist parties have a narrow majority of seats, had called for Monday’s session to be blocked.

Lawyers for the regional parliament had also warned that the session would be illegal because it discusses results of a referendum over the weekend that had been previously suspended by the Constitutional Court.

Sunday’s independence referendum has sparked a major political crisis in Spain.

On Tuesday, labor unions and grassroots pro-independence groups urged workers to hold partial or full-day strikes throughout Catalonia to protest alleged brutality by police during a referendum on the region’s secession from Spain that left hundreds of people injured.

Mariano Rajoy

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gestures before a meeting with Spain’s main opposition Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, Monday Oct. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Paul White)

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has urged the separatist leader of the regional Catalan government to cancel plans for declaring independence in northeastern region, in order to avoid “greater evils.”

In an interview with Spain’s official EFE news agency, Rajoy said that the solution in Catalonia “is the prompt return to legality and the affirmation, as early as possible, that there will be no unilateral declaration of independence, because that way greater evils will be avoided.”

Rajoy’s remarks were the first since Sunday evening, after Catalonia held a banned referendum on independence amid police violence, and ahead of a planned regional lawmakers’ meeting on Monday where secession plans are to be discussed, or even passed. Spain’s Constitutional Court has ordered the temporary suspension of that session.

Spain Catalonia

A Catalan Mossos d’Esquadra officer stands guard following a pro-independence protest in front of the Spanish Partido Popular ruling party headquarters in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday Oct. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Regional president Carles Puigdemont on Wednesday toned down his defiant stance by calling for mediation in the conflict but without renouncing plans for secession next week.

Story by The Associated Press

CGTN America’s Elliot Wallace explains the history and stakes of the Catalonia referendum.


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CGTN’s Asieh Namdar interviewed Madrid-based economist David Lizoain about what’s next in the Catalonia referendum fight.