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Referendum in Catalonia: demonstration at the European parliament

10 October 2017

Several businesses, including major banks, have started moving their legal headquarters out of Catalonia, casting doubt on whether one of Spain's wealthiest regions would risk a major capital flight if it broke off from Madrid. Apart from these aspects, which have historically fed into the independence movement, residents of Barcelona say they pay exorbitant taxes to Madrid and don't receive their worth back in services.

"But there are two things I would say: firstly, the scenes we saw last Sunday of violence against people just trying to vote were absolutely unacceptable, and everybody, regardless of their views on independence, I think should condemn that". It would therefore " be a candidate to become a member of the Union", then negotiations would be undertaken to integrate with the EU after a fire, green -with the unanimity of the 28 member States.

Secession-minded lawmakers are meeting Tuesday in Catalonia and some say that is when they will declare independence for the northeastern region in Spain. Puigdemont himself hinted at the declaration Sunday night to Catalan TV3, but he remained vague.

On Saturday, a similarly large rally was held in the city to demand secession from Spain, while another demonstration was held in support of Spanish unity in Madrid.

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The region, home to 7.5 million people with their own language and cultural traditions, accounts for a fifth of Spain's economy. Local media reported many of those against independence boycotted the vote.

Regional president Carles Puigdemont plans to address Catalonia's parliament Tuesday evening to debate the current political situation.

The PP's hardline attitude towards Mr Puigdemont has been given fresh momentum by Sunday's massive pro-Spanish unity rally in Barcelona.

The Catalan region's head of foreign affairs, Raul Romeva, told the BBC on Friday that the Catalan parliament meant to make a decision on independence, without specifying when.

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The country's courts judged the vote to be illegal and unconstitutional but the regional Catalan government made a decision to press ahead with it. However, Catalans have always been calling for more say in spending, higher status for their language and recognition that they are a nation distinct from Spain, BBC writes.

Regional polls by the region's survey agencies indicate that more than a third of Catalans are supportive of an independent Catalonia.

"I hope that those prevail in Spain, who understand that, as the Spanish Prime Minister has said, law and constitution are the basis on which we operate", German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said. "We will see what happens this week but we have to speak out very loudly so they know what we want".

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Referendum in Catalonia: demonstration at the European parliament