Catalonia Leader Calls for Mediation
Wednesday, October, 11, 2017
Catalonia’s secessionist leader has called for an international mediation concerning the region’s dispute with Madrid. The call for mediation came just a day after hundreds of people were victims of police brutality in the area and fell under fire from rubber bullets as they were trying to participate in an independence referendum.
According to the results of the referendum, voters overwhelmingly backed independence, which Spain ruled illegal. According to Catalonia leader Carles Puigdemont, the vote was valid and must be implemented. He spoke at a recent news conference, stating “It is not a domestic matter”. He said it was obvious mediation was needed and that they are not asking for a “… a traumatic break… We want a new understanding with the Spanish state”.
Political parties met with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the members of his conservative government. The government later issued a statement saying he was looking for a joint response to the crisis and thanked European leaders for supporting Spain’s constitutional order.
In response to the police violence, hundreds of students gathered in a central square in Barcelona to protest and support independence while waving Catalan flags. Another protest was organized later that day at the headquarters of the Spanish National Police in Barcelona.
After holding the vote in defiance of the court order, Puigdemont urged Rajoy to state whether or not he was in favor of mediation. The mediation process would be overseen by the European Union, but an EU spokesman declined to say whether the Union would be willing to mediate.