As reported previously, in a sternly worded address to the nation, Spain’s King Felipe VI condemned organizers of Catalonia’s independence referendum for having put themselves “outside the law” and said the situation in Spain was “extremely serious”, calling for unity. In his address, King Felipe VI said Catalan leaders who organized the referendum showed their “disrespect to the powers of the state” adding that “they have broken the democratic principles of the rule of law.
“Today, the Catalan society is fractured,” the king said, warning that the poll could put at risk the economy of the wealthy autonomous north-eastern region and the whole of Spain. But he stressed that Spain “will overcome difficult times”.
The address came on the same day as Barcelona’s roadways were blockaded amid a general strike as hundreds of thousands in Catalonia have been protesting over Spanish police violence during Sunday’s vote, in which nearly 900 people were hurt.
However, despite the King’s warning and hinting that a showdown, potentially violent, is coming, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont told the BBC the region will declare independence in a matter of days. In his first interview since the referendum, Carles Puigdemont said his government would “act at the end of this week or the beginning of next”.
When asked what he would do if the Spanish government were to intervene and take control of Catalonia’s government, Puigdemont said it would be “an error which changes everything”.