European Parliament to debate Catalan independence vote

Pique is often jeered by fans when Spain plays outside of Catalonia.

The European Parliament is set to debate the crisis in Catalonia on Wednesday amid mounting criticism of a deafening silence in Brussels.

The secessionist movement is deeply rooted in the region, but tensions came to a head when in 2010, Spain's Constitutional Court struck down some provisions of autonomy.

Carles Puigdemont, the region's leader, told the BBC the regional government would act once final vote counts are in.

Puigdemont said early results showed more than 90 percent of voters supported independence. "This will probably finish once we get all the votes in from overseas at the end of the week and therefore we shall probably act over the weekend or early next week".

That police action was met with furious protests and the Catalan regional police were accused of failing to intervene. Almost 900 people were injured, the BBC reported.

People watching in a bar in Barcelona whistled and booed after the king's speech.

The Commission Vice President said it did not change the fact that everyone saw saddening images on Sunday. It added that it trusted Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to manage the crisis in a way that respects "both the Spanish constitution and the rights of citizens".

For his part, Puigdemont claimed his government "would always have liked this process to be driven by dialogue [as] there wouldn't have been the police violence". Catalonia's government will hold a closed-door Cabinet meeting Monday to discuss the next steps in its plan to declare independence from Spain following a disputed referendum marred by violence.

Barcelona's public universities were expected to join the strike, as was the contemporary art museum and the Sagrada Familia, the basilica designed by Antoni Gaudi and one of the city's most popular tourist sites, the Guardian reported.

"What happened on October 1 has fired up independence feeling that will never die", said 18-year-old student Monica Ventinc, who attended a protest on Tuesday.

He disagreed with the European Commission's statement on Monday that events in Catalonia were an internal issue for Spain.

Hungarian Finance Minister Peter Szijjarto told CNBC the European Union had shown some "double-standards" over the issue but, like many other leaders, did not want to be seen commenting on a domestic situation.

The Foreign Office said the referendum was "a matter for the Spanish government and people".

People shouted, "Long live free Catalonia, we are peaceful people and we only want to vote".

He insisted the vote was valid and binding.


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