Catalonia LIVE: Rapturous applause as Catalan leader vows ‘to follow WILL of the people’

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
By Paul Martin

CATALONIA’S regional president Carles Puigdemont has announced he wants to “follow the people’s will for Catalonia to become an independent state” in a major speech as the region looks set to break away from Spain.

Tue, Oct 10, 2017

With thousands watching outside the Catalan parliament and millions watching across the world, Mr Puigdemont said: “The ballots say Yes to independence this is the will that I want to go forward with.

“At this historical moment as the president of Catalonia, I want to follow people’s will for Catalonia to become an independent state.”

His speech, which was delayed by an hour, was largely focused on the violence during the referendum as the Catalan leader proposed further dialogue with the government in Madrid as the region works towards independence.

He said: “We propose to suspend the effect of the independence declaration… in order to work towards putting into practice the result of the referendum… Today, we are making a gesture of responsibility in favour of dialogue.”

Laying out the “consequences” of the referendum, Mr Puigdemont told the assembly: “Today I am here in front of Catalonia and in front of the world.

“Spain made us small, but Catalonia is a European affair.”

He called for a de-escalation of the violence seen across the region in recent weeks.

“I’m not going to make any threats, the situation is really serious and we have to assume our responsibilities.

“We need de-escalate the situation, not feed it any longer. I want to address everyone about the issue.

“We are all part of the same community and we need to go forward together. We will never agree on everything, but we have proved many times that the only way to move forward is with democracy and peace.

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