Catalan Parliament declares independence from Spain

The Catalan parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain, just as Madrid looks poised to impose direct rule.

Supporters of an independence for Catalonia listen to Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, right, as his  speech is broadcast on a television screen at the Arc de Triomf. Picture: Getty
Supporters of an independence for Catalonia listen to Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, right, as his speech is broadcast on a television screen at the Arc de Triomf. Picture: Getty

Today the parliament passed a motion saying it will establish an independent Catalan Republic.

Pro-independence legislators erupted in applause as the vote was approved with 70 votes in favour, 10 against and two blank ballots.

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Catalan separatists have ‘no option’ but independence declaration
Supporters of an independence for Catalonia listen to Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, right, as his speech is broadcast on a television screen at the Arc de Triomf. Picture: Getty

Most opposition members had left the chamber in protest moments before the vote.

Spain opposes the independence bid and the national government in Madrid is readying measures to take over control of the north-eastern region. No country has expressed support for the secession bid.

The motion calls for beginning an independence process that includes drafting Catalonia’s new top laws and opening negotiations “on equal footing” with Spanish authorities to establish co-operation.

Supporters of an independence for Catalonia listen to Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, right, as his speech is broadcast on a television screen at the Arc de Triomf. Picture: Getty