Catalonia independence: Sacked separatist leader Carles Puigdemont calls for peaceful resistance to Spain
28 October, 2017
Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has called on Catalans to peacefully oppose Spain's formal takeover of the region's affairs.
In a televised address on Saturday, the separatist leader said Madrid’s decision to suspend the autonomy of the province and appoint the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister as its provisionary head goes against the will of the people.
Catalonia is now theoretically under the direct control of the Spanish national government in Madrid after the area’s regional parliament voted in favour of an independent republic on Friday.
Mr Puigdemont said: “My message to you is to have patience, perseverance and perspective. And for that we are certain that the best way to defend the achievements up to today is by democratically opposing the application of Article 155, which is the conclusion of a premeditated aggression against the will of the Catalan people, who in large majority and throughout many years, have felt like a European nation.
"We must do this, avoiding repression and threats. We don't have and we don't want to have reasons to use force. Not us."
The Spanish Government has since said it would welcome Mr Puigdemont's participation in regional elections in December.
Early on Saturday morning, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy made direct control from Madrid "official" by publishing a document dismissing Mr Puigdemont, his deputy Oriol Junqueras and all regional government members.
Although Mr Puigdemont and the 12 members of the Catalan Cabinet will now no longer be paid and could be charged with usurping others' functions if they refuse to obey Madrid, there was no immediate sign that they were willing to comply