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European Union remains silent over violence at Catalonia indolence referendum
04 Octubre 2017, 10:47 | Fidele Alvizo
EPACarles Puigdemont backed by his cabinet addresses the Catalan people
Catalan leaders "with their irresponsible conduct could put at risk the economic and social stability of Catalonia and all of Spain", he said.
"Today Catalan society is fractured and in conflict", he said.
The referendum has plunged Spain into its worst constitutional crisis in decades, and is a political test for Rajoy, a conservative who has taken a hardline stance on the issue.
Barcelona tourist attractions such as museums and architect Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia church, were shut. Barcelona's massive wholesale market has been left deserted as some 770 food businesses have closed for the day.
Influential Catalan business lobby Cercle d'Economia said it was extremely anxious by the prospect of Catalonia declaring independence and appealed to both sides to start talks. They expressed outrage over what protesters view as "grave violation of rights and freedoms".
Riot police moved in on polling stations in towns and cities across Catalonia to stop people from voting, in some cases baton-charging and firing rubber bullets to disperse crowds.
Around 900 people were injured in the violence. In public administration, nobody is hired unless they speak Catalan - same situation for professors or doctors.
"I am not too anxious", he added, arguing some investors may even see the dip in banking shares as an opportunity. She added: "Him declaring independence is like me declaring 'From tomorrow I'm a princess'".
The Spanish government, which has been heavily criticised for the violence witnessed on Sunday, maintains that the referendum was illegal and it will reject any declaration of independence. "If there was any use of force by police in any way it was because they were prevented from doing what they were asked to do", Alfonso Dastis told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
In Barcelona's Catalonia and University squares, a sea of demonstrators waved flags, a lot of them "esteladas" embraced by those advocating secession, but also plenty of Spanish national flags were on display.
The authorities claim that the demonstrations obstructed police operation.
Catalonia is located on the eastern part of the Iberian Peninsula and has a population of 7.52 million people. I am sure broadcasters and the mainstream media will soon be playing footage and showing pictures of bloodied voters which is not going to go down well in Spain's other regions that also seek autonomy from the dictatorial Madrid regime.
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