Catalan leader condemns Spain's attempt to overtake Catalonia's government

ANI | Updated: Oct 22, 2017 04:08 IST

Madrid [Spain], Oct 22 (ANI): Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has condemned Spanish Government's attempt to overtake Catalonia's regional government and called on the regional parliament to discuss the crisis.

According to CNN, Puigdemont said he'll ask the region's parliament to convene and discuss Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's "attempt to liquidate our self-government and our democracy, and act accordingly".

"The Catalan institutions and the people of Catalonia cannot accept this attack," CNN quoted Puigdemont as saying in a televised address.

Half a million people came on streets in Barcelona to protest after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced that he would take control of Catalonia by invoking Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, weeks after the region's independence referendum.

The protesters chanted, "Freedom!" and "Rajoy, Rajoy, so you know we are leaving!"

Puigdemont had also joined the demonstration and was among the protest crowd.

More than 2.25 million people had turned out to vote on October 1, with the regional government claiming that 90% of voters were in favour of Catalonia's independence.

However, the turnout was low which Catalan officials blamed on the central government's efforts to stop the referendum.

Catalonia currently enjoys 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)