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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dublin refuses to recognise Catalonia’s independence

Posted by Jim on October 28, 2017

Dublin refuses to recognise Catalonia’s independence

The 26 County state has said it will not recognise Catalonia’s
declaration of independence from Spain, according to the Department of
Foreign Affairs in Dublin.

“The resolution of the current crisis needs to be within Spain’s
constitutional framework and through Spain’s democratic institutions,”
it said.

However, in Scotland, the Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs, Fiona
Hyslop said the people of Catalonia “must have the ability to determine
their own future.”

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams TD described the declaration of
independence as a “historic step” towards Catalan statehood, and
expressed his solidarity with the people.

“The right to self-determination is a corner stone of international law
and this declaration must be respected,” he said. “I believe it is now
incumbent on the Spanish government to agree an internationally mediated
process on the way forward. That is what the Catalan government have
offered. That goodwill must be reciprocated.

“It is time for the Spanish government to seize the opportunity for
dialogue. I would encourage the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to urgently press
for this process with the Spanish Prime Minister.”

However, neither the Taoiseach nor the Irish President, Michael D.
Higgins, have issued statements on the situation.

In dramatic scenes yesterday, a motion to declare independence was
approved by the 135-member Catalan parliament, with 70 votes in favor.
Opposition lawmakers walked out of the chamber in protest ahead of the
vote.

After the vote officials and lawmakers cried “Llibertat! [Freedom]”.

An emotional President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont called on his
people to remain peaceful. “In the days ahead we must keep to our values
of pacifism and dignity. It’s in our, in your hands, to build the
republic,” he said.

Outside parliament, thousands who had gathered cheered the news, some
dancing and raising a toast. In Barcelona, people crowded around TV sets
to watch the historic events unfold.

The Sant Jaume Square outside the government office was packed with
thousands of people celebrating. Many were draped with the “Estelada”
flag that adds a blue triangle to the red and yellow Catalan flag and
has become a symbol of the separatist struggle.

“I feel so emotional after the huge fight we went through, we finally
got it,” said Rosalina Cordera Torelles. Another woman said she was
relieved. “Now we are Catalan at last,” said Rita Carboneras. “We can be
ourselves.”

But despite the referendum and declaration of independence, the
government in Madrid still claims to still rule over Catalonia. Both it
and Spain’s Constitutional Court have insisted the declaration is
“illegal” under Spanish law.

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy said it was a move that “not only goes against
the law but is a criminal act.” He declared he was “sacking” the head of
the Catalan regional police and shutting down the Catalan government’s
overseas offices. A spokesman for Spain’s prosecutor’s office said it
would bring charges of “rebellion” against prominent Catalans.

In Ireland, a variety of protests and events are being organised in
support of Catalania, with the involvement of Sinn Fein, the 1916
Societies and People before Profit.

People before Profit said it would be submitting a motion to Dublin City
Council calling for recognition.

Ahead of Friday’s declaration, republican members of Derry City and
Strabane District Council united to formally back Catalan independence.

A proposal by Sinn Fein Councillor Caoimhe McKnight that the council
writes to the British and Irish governments asking them to formally
recognise the democratic outcome of the Catalan independence referendum,
was backed by all republican councillors.

Independent republican councillor Paul Gallagher, wearing a T-shirt
bearing the Estelada flag, hailed the Catalan people’s discipline and
courage and expressed concern Spain might move to establish “tyranny” in
the region in defiance of the democratic wishes of the people there.

Cllr McKnight said the motion demonstrated solidarity with the people of
Catalonia, who in turning out to vote in their independence referendum,
in spite of a “full-frontal attack by the Spanish authorities”, had been
“inspirational”

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