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Spanish Government Meets After Catalonia Declares 'Suspended' Independence


Catalan President Carles Puigdemont was highly critical of the Spanish government's response to the referendum.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has formally demanded that the leader of the autonomous Catalonia region clarify whether independence has been declared.

Rajoy said after a special cabinet meeting on October 11 that clarity was necessary before the Spanish government could take other measures.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said on October 10 that the result of a disputed referendum gave his government a mandate to turn Catalonia into "an independent state," and signed a document titled Declaration Of The Representatives Of Catalonia.

Puigdemont, however, proposed that the regional parliament "suspend the effects of the independence declaration to commence a dialogue."

In a televised address, Rajoy said he had asked Puigdemont to confirm whether independence was declared, calling it a "requirement for any measure the government can adopt under Article 155 of the constitution."

Article 155 allows Madrid to impose control over any of its 17 regions if they don't comply with their legal obligations.

Some 2.3 million Catalans -- about 43 percent of the electorate in the northeastern region -- voted in the October 1 referendum. Regional authorities say 90 percent voted "yes" and declared the results valid.

With reporting by Reuters and AP
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