EU's Tusk urges against Catalonia independence

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"Catalonia restores today its full sovereignty", says the document, called "declaration of the representatives of Catalonia".

So he chose the compromise.

Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont said yesterday the region had earned the right to break away from Spain after a disputed referendum but called for the process to be suspended to leave the door open to negotiations.

The declaration reads: "We call on all states and worldwide organisations to recognise the Catalan republic as an independent and sovereign state". "The government of Catalonia will be firmly with democracy, with tolerance, with dialogue, with respect towards people who disagree with us", he said. It is a symbolic statement because it has not been ratified by the Parliament.

"It's very clear to me that those who I represent won't accept any other scenario", Benet Salellas said during an interview at the regional parliament.

"I propose suspending the effects of the declaration of independence to undertake talks in the coming weeks without which it is not possible to reach an agreed solution", Puigdemont told the regional parliament in Barcelona. "We will prevent this independence from taking place". And it's not liked the person.

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EU President Donald Tusk also urged Puigdemont against making a decision that would make "dialogue impossible".

Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said that "neither Mr Puigdemont nor anybody else can claim.to impose mediation".

A October 1 referendum in the north-eastern province - which Catalan leaders say resulted in a Yes vote for independence - was declared invalid by Spain's Constitutional Court. Tell us more about the reaction.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called an emergency Cabinet meeting for Wednesday to decide the Spanish government's response to the declaration.

The Spanish government had threatened tough action, possibly including imposing direct rule on Catalonia from Madrid, if he had gone ahead with breakaway moves.

If talks do not happen and a declaration of independence is not put to a vote in the Catalan parliament, the CUP could withdraw its support, triggering a regional election.

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"But we kept them in the fridge because we were certainly deceived by the anticlimax that this day shows", board member of the Flemish Peoples Movement, Bernard Daelemans said after the much-anticipated speech of the Catalan leader in the regional parliament.

The Catalan government says 90 per cent of voters backed independence on turnout of 42.3 per cent, with parties opposed boycotting the vote.

The Spanish government responded swiftly, saying: "It's unacceptable to make a tacit declaration of independence then to suspend it in an explicit manner".

"I assume. the mandate that Catalonia become an independent state in the form of a republic", he said to prolonged applause in the assembly, which was tightly guarded by Catalan police. "With a Spanish state that continues to harass and persecute us?" "I don't think that the way out of this confrontation will come from the Spanish side", Daelemans pointed out, calling for interventions from "European nations and institutions that should at last act responsibly".

The delay at the beginning of the parliamentary session was down to last-minute talks with Puigdemont's left-wing coalition partners in the Catalan government, whose radical views meant his subsequent speech would inevitably be seen as an "unacceptable betrayal".

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