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The Latest: Catalans Divided as Announcement Approaches

The Latest: Catalans Divided as Announcement Approaches

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 05:56 AM

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Latest on Catalan authorities' bid for independence (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

Catalans are awaiting a Tuesday evening appearance by their regional leader in parliament with expectations divided between those who want to see the birth of a new republic and others opposed to such a move or fearing a backlash from the Spanish central authorities.

"I am thrilled," said Maria Redon, a 51-year-old office worker during Tuesday's busy commute in central Barcelona. "I've been waiting for this all my life. We have fought a lot to see an independence Catalonia."

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont hasn't revealed the precise message he will deliver in a 6 p.m. (1600GMT) session in the region's parliament, but separatist politicians have said they expect a declaration based on the results of the disputed Oct. 1 independence referendum.

"Impossible. He won't do it. By doing so he would be diving into an empty pool," said Carlos Gabriel, a 36-year-old waiter. "These people know it's just a dream. Something very complicated. Something that will carry many negative consequences for all of us."

10:55 a.m.

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos says that he hopes "common sense" prevails and that Catalan separatist leaders refrain from making a declaration of independence later on Tuesday.

Catalonia's president Carles Puigdemont is to address the regional Catalan parliament at 6 p.m. (1600GMT) in a session during which a declaration of independence could be made based on the results of a disputed Oct. 1 independence referendum opposed by Spanish central authorities.

Speaking ahead of a meeting of European economy and finance ministers in Luxembourg, de Guindos blamed Puigemont's "radical" and "irresponsible" government for the current standoff and said that his European counterparts have expressed support for the Spanish government position.

"This is not about independence yes or no. This is about a rebellion against the rule of law. And the rule of law is the foundation of coexistence, not only in Spain but in Europe," de Guindos told reporters.

9:15 a.m.

Police are guarding public buildings and closing off a park surrounding the regional Catalan parliament in Barcelona where a declaration of independence on Tuesday evening is likely to be met with a harsh response from Spanish central authorities.

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont hasn't revealed the precise message he will deliver in a 6 p.m. (1600GMT) plenary session, but separatist politicians have said they expect a declaration based on the results of the disputed Oct. 1 independence referendum.

The separatists have declared valid the pro-independence victory in the vote, which was followed by mass protests of Catalans angered by heavy-handed police tactics.

There have also been large-scale rallies by people committed to national unity.

How the declaration will be enforced and what the Spanish government's response will be are the key questions.

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The Latest on Catalan authorities' bid for independence (all times local):11:10 a.m.Catalans are awaiting a Tuesday evening appearance by their regional leader in parliament with expectations divided between those who want to see the birth of a new republic and others...
EU,Spain,Catalonia,The Latest
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2017-56-10
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 05:56 AM
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