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08 Octubre 2017, 08:20 | Crisanna Felipe
Catalan Parliament Defies Madrid after Suspension of Independence Session
Madrid's central Colon Square was transformed into a sea of Spanish flags as several thousand people joined a "patriotic" march organised by activists to defend the unity of Spain.
Gathering in Madrid, Barcelona and other cities, they vented anxiety that years of mistrust between the northeastern region and the rest of Spain could boil over - but were divided over how to prevent it.
"I am not anxious because I believe in the laws of Spain and the laws of Europe".
It's unclear how widespread Vila's moderate position is inside the Catalan government, which is being pressured from separatist grassroots groups and the far-left party CUP to declare independence soon.
"I must do things at the proper time ..." "And that would be very risky for the government of Catalonia, because it does not have majority support among the population", he adds. "To be honest, he's bad". The Spanish government has vowed to stop the vote, which it says is unconstitutional, and the two governments - one in Madrid, one in Barcelona - are now on a collision course.
One chant was, "Mossos get paid, police do the work" - a snub at the Catalan police, known as Mossos d'Esquadra, who chose not participate in the October 1 crackdown on voters in Catalonia. It's a peaceful people, a people that organized itself around a set of values to grow more.
Jose Manuel Garcia, a 61-year-old economist at the protest, said: 'This is producing a social rupture in Catalonia and this has to be resolved through dialogue, never via unilateralism.
"The tension and violence have risen a lot". Each time it gets worse. "It has created a lot of fear and that is very unsafe". But there have also been large crowds against separation, including in Madrid, as well as protests calling for dialogue.
She said she felt no reason to have to decide whether she was Catalan or Spanish.
He said, "We are convinced that we didn't commit any kind of crime".
In a referendum on October 1st in autonomous region of Catalonia in Spain, 90.18 percent of polls were declared "yes", 7.83 percent "no" vote.
Opponents of secession called for demonstrations around Spain on Saturday and in Barcelona on Sunday.
They held up signs with the word "parlem" - Catalan for "let's talk" - and waved white handkerchiefs but not flags.
Catalonia's biggest lender CaixaBank will also hold discussions on Friday about possibly shifting its legal domicile out of the region, a source close to the matter told AFP.
On Monday, the European Commission backed the Spanish government's stance that the referendum was against the law and called the police crackdown an "internal matter" for Spain.
But what will happen if Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont really does declare independence on Tuesday?
The Spanish Constitutional Court on Thursday afternoon suspended this sitting of the Catalan assembly in which UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence ) will be discussed.
The "sedition" hearing took place in Madrid.
Catalonia was an independent region of the Iberian Peninsula with its own language, laws and customs - until the 1700s when modern day Spain was born.
Spanish authorities say the demonstrations hindered the Spanish police operation, and that Catalan police didn't do enough to push back the protesters who were blocking Spanish police officers from leaving a building.
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