Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Rajoy to visit Catalonia for first time since referendum

Rajoy to visit Catalonia for first time since referendum

Saturday's protest, which is one of the biggest pro-independence demonstartions in recent months, comes after a general strike and mobilizations on Wednesday throughout Catalonia, in which protesters blocked highways and major railway lines. However, On October 27, the majority of Catalan lawmakers backed the resolution, outlining the independence declaration.

Catalonia's autonomy was suspended and Madrid called for new elections on 21 December. Puigdemont is now in Brussels, and a Belgian judge is now processing a European arrest warrant that Spain issued against him.

Eight members of the cabinet are now detained in Spain on charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds.

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A judge at the Supreme Court in Madrid on Thursday had ordered Carme Forcadell to be held on charges of "rebellion" - which carries a maximum jail term of 30 years - as Spain's worst political crisis in a generation rumbles on.

Demonstrators shone their mobile phones in unison at sunset to show solidarity with 10 prominent members of the independence movement.

The result of the 1 October referendum was 90% for "yes", but it was secured on a low turnout of just over 40%.

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More than 750,000 people have gathered in Barcelona to demand the release of Catalan politicians jailed in the wake of the hugely controversial independence declaration in the Spanish region.

The Catalan crisis has caused shock waves across the European Union (EU), prompting almost 2,400 businesses to move their legal headquarters and re-register outside of the wealthy northeastern region.

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