Catalan opposition slams president’s speech

The opposition leader in Catalonia’s parliament says regional president Carles Puigdemont’s statement that he has a mandate to declare independence from Spain “is a coup” and has no support in Europe.

Opposition leader Ines Arrimadas of the Ciudadanos (Citizens) party says the majority of Catalans feels they are Catalans, Spanish and European and that they won’t let regional officials “break their hearts.”

Puigdemont says a landslide victory in the region’s disputed Oct. 1 referendum on independence gives his government grounds to implement its long-held desire to break century-old ties with Spain. Less than half of eligible voters cast ballots.

Puigdemont is suggesting for the regional parliament to suspend the effects of the independence declaration to give time for dialogue, calling on the Spanish government to accept mediation in the political standoff.


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