Protests Against Catalan Independence Planned Across Spain

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BARCELONA (Alliance News)?- Demonstrations opposing the independence of Catalonia are set to take place at midday Saturday in major cities across Spain, as the Catalan regional government continues its push to secede from Spain and become a republic.

Saturday's protests will take place in Madrid, Barcelona and several other major cities, while another mass anti-independence protest is planned for Sunday in Barcelona.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Artur Mas, a former president of Catalonia and current leader of the pro-independence Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT), pointed to the practical and logistical steps that must still be taken before gaining "real independence."

"[T]o be independent there are some things we still don't have," Mas told the newspaper, "this is not just about proclaiming independence but about actually becoming an independent country."

On October 1, Catalonia held a referendum on independence in which a vast majority voted in favour of seceding from Spain, albeit with the participation of only 43% of eligible voters.

A plenary session of the regional parliament that had been scheduled for Monday, and which was expected to involve a unilateral declaration of independence, has been cancelled amid its explicit prohibition by the Spanish Constitutional Court.

The Spanish government and its police forces have come under heavy criticism for the violent police crackdown on the day of the vote, which had been declared illegal by the Constitutional Court and was bitterly opposed by the central government in Madrid.

Copyright dpa