Amid massive protests and public strikes in Catalonia, President Carles Puigdemont told the BBC that his government intends to declare independence from Spain “in a matter of days,” saying it would either be by week’s end or very early next week.
Catalonia held a referendum over the weekend, with an overwhelming “yes” vote resulting on strong turnout. Spanish national police were violently cracking down on the vote, leaving over 800 people wounded.
Exactly how Catalonia is to secure their independence after the vote remains to be seen. Puidgemont has called for international mediation on the matter. Fury among the Catalan public over Spain’s crackdown is likely to add to impatience to get away from Spain as soon as possible.
Though the rest of the European Union is largely not supportive of Catalan independence, many have been critical of Spain’s violent action to try to prevent a peaceful vote. Spanish officials aren’t leaving much room for negotiation, either.
A declaration of independence would be the start of extricating Catalonia from the rest of Spain, and while it may be a complicated process, Puigdemont’s comments suggest it’s a step that they’re determined to move forward with.