Catalan unions, activists go on strike with regional government backing

Catalan unions, activists go on strike with regional government backing

Catalan unions, activists go on strike with regional government backing

And according to opinion polls, 80 percent of Catalans want to vote in a legal referendum, even if less than half are actually in favour of independence.

On the government's plans to sell a further stake in Bankia (BKIA.MC), de Guindos said Madrid would look at the placement again once the Catalan situation had been resolved. Madrid has the power to suspend the semi-autonomous status that Catalonia now enjoys under Spain's system of regional governments. "I do not think there will be a business exodus", he told the La Sexta broadcaster.

He drew parallels for a potential solution to his own province, which has held two referendums on whether to separate from Canada and the last of which in 1995 was narrowly defeated.

"Gosh, we'd be hauled straight before the European Court of Human Rights, and we would be declared to be behaving like a Third World country".

Dialogue is a third option - which European Union officials have urged - but both sides seem to want their trains to crash head-on first and see who comes out worse.

One of these could be to invoke article 155 of the Constitution, which allows the state to take powers away from a semi-autonomous region of Spain if "it doesn t fulfil the duties imposed by the Constitution or other laws".

"Let's not have what happened in Ireland be reflected in the approach that is going to be taken by the Spanish state". He insisted dialogue was the only way forward: "Spain has the choice to just say no or to sit down and talk".

"The utter hypocrisy of this place is disgusting and shameful". Peace and accord is part of who we are. "Where were those values on Sunday?"

Recall that previously reported that emergency services in Catalonia reported scores of injuries suffered by Catalans in clashes with the Spanish police determined to stop voting in a referendum for independence.

Puigdemont's comments came after Spain's King Felipe VI accused secessionist leaders on Tuesday of shattering democratic principles and dividing Catalan society, as tens of thousands protested against a violent police crackdown on Sunday's vote. (The company said the decision was made a year ago.) Several other businesses throughout Spain have said that they are also following events in the region closely and are considering various options for how to respond.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy repeated the tough stance of the central government in a statement on Wednesday.

"It's time to talk, finding a way out of the impasse, working within the constitutional order of Spain", European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans told an emergency debate in the European Parliament.

Turkey, which condemned last week's referendum for Kurdish independence in northern Iraq, also spoke of the importance of respecting Spanish law and territorial integrity.

A declaration of independence would intensify the conflict with the central government, which along with the national courts has branded the referendum illegal.

The agency said it expected to "resolve the CreditWatch within the next three months".

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