Catalan Cabinet meets to plan independence declaration – Chicago Tribune

Catalonia’s leader on Monday called for international mediation and for the European Union “to stop looking the other way” in the region’s bid to secede from Spain, a day after a violent crackdown by Spanish police trying to block referendum voting.

Carles Puigdemont also said that he would file a complaint against Spanish police after officers fired rubber bullets, smashed into polling stations Sunday and beat back protesters with batons. Puigdemont didn’t give further details, but urged Spain’s national police reinforcements to leave the northeastern region.

But Spanish authorities commended police, saying they acted professionally and that their response was proportionate. And Spain’s interior minister said that the 5,000 extra officers deployed to Catalonia would stay as long as necessary.

Catalan officials say an overwhelming majority of voters supported independence from Spain, but the central government in Madrid has repeatedly condemned the referendum as illegal, unconstitutional and invalid.

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