Catalan leader calls for 'democratic opposition' against Spain's takeover

ANI | Updated: Oct 28, 2017 23:19 IST

Madrid [Spain], Oct 28 (ANI): Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has called for "democratic opposition" against Spain's formal takeover of Catalonia.

In a video message, the Catalan leader issued a defiant response to Madrid's decision to take direct control of Catalonia and vowed to continue working to build "a free country".

"We must do so resisting repression and threats, without ever abandoning, at any time, civic and peaceful conduct," The Guardian quoted Puigdemont as saying and adding that his government did not have or want "the argument of force".

Pro-independence Catalans are expected to hold a long-planned march against Madrid's takeover of the region on Sunday.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has dissolved Catalan Parliament to impose direct ruler over it and called for a new regional election on December 21.

Spain also removed Josep Lluís Trapero Álvarez as chief of Catalonia's autonomous Mossos police force, as the government in Madrid took control of the autonomous region to block its push for independence.

Earlier, the Catalonia parliament voted to declare independence from Spain and proclaimed to be a republic.

Prime Minister Rajoy called for calm and said the rule of law would be restored in Catalonia, which is gripped in political crisis, since past three years.

The Catalan Government had said that it earned the right to split from Spain, claiming 90% of those who voted in referendum were in favour of independence.

Before Madrid's imposition of direct rule over it, Catalonia enjoyed wide autonomy, including control over its own policing, education and healthcare.

Catalan nationalists have always argued that the region is a separate nation with its own history, culture and language, and that it should have increased fiscal independence. (ANI)