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Spain: Catalans celebrate as parliament votes to declare independence

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Thousands of independence supporters on Friday massed near the Catalan parliament to cheer with joy after majority separatist lawmakers voted to declare independence from Spain and proclaim a republic.

 

The supporters watching proceedings in parliament on two large screens, clapped and shouted “independence” in Catalan before singing the regional hymn, with many raising their fists.

Some of the supporters celebrated by drinking Cava, a sparkling wine produced in Catalonia.

 

However, the independence declaration is not recognised by Madrid as the capital city soon after the parliamentary vote, gave the go-ahead by Spain’s Senate to impose direct rule on Catalonia to stop its drive to separate.

Reacting after the vote, EU President Donald Tusk said that Madrid “remains our only interlocutor”, but nevertheless urged the Spanish government to go easy with its planned temporary takeover of the semi-autonomous region.

“I hope the Spanish government favours force of argument, not argument of force,” he tweeted.

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