24/01/13 07:35 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
Catalonia’s parliament has adopted a declaration of sovereignty, the first step towards a possible referendum on breaking away from Spain.
The nationalist resolution was passed with 85 votes for and 41 against, increasing the pressure on Madrid.
Catalonia’s two main nationalist parties signed a pact last month pledging to hold a referendum next year.
Speaking in Catalan before the vote, the president of the regional government Artur Mas said it would be historic.
“Maybe it will not resolve our problems in 24 hours, but it will lead our country towards its destiny,” he added.
A few smaller parties backed the declaration, but it was opposed by the Catalan Socialist Party and Spain’s governing centre-right People’s Party.
Alicia Sanchez, head of the People’s Party of Catalonia said:
“Most Catalonian people do not want independence, they do not want this division. What you are doing today is applying pressure in defiance of the Spanish government.”
Catalonia’s nationalists were boosted by the unexpected size of a pro-independence rally in Barcelona last September, when up to an estimated half a million people took to the streets.
The declaration voted by parliament says the path towards self-determination, which is opposed by Madrid, will involve dialogue with the Spanish state, European institutions and the international community.
- 1The nuclear waste site at the heart of Canada’s wildfires
- 2EgyptAir crash: suggestions of explosion on board ‘mere assumptions’ – official
- 3Brazil in crisis after leaked tape forces out interim President’s ally
- 4A handshake, a kiss and a hug at historic meeting of Catholic and Muslim leaders
- 5French union blockades spark petrol shortages
- 1EgyptAir crash: airline says Flight MS804 wreckage found
- 2Venezuela economy fractured with shortages of essentials across the country
- 3The nuclear waste site at the heart of Canada’s wildfires
- 4Crimean Tatars look for Eurovision boost on day of national tragedy
- 5Kazakh police break up anti-government protests
Latest world news
World Humanitarian Summit calls for shift of emphasis from response to prevention of refugee crisis
Austria’s Freedom Party ‘not far-right’, says Norbert Hofer
Out with the old… Cabinet changes in Turkish AKP reflect pro-Erdogan stance
Syria: US-backed fighters launch offensive to retake ISIL’s Raqqa
Special elite police units to help guard Tour de France
Wires > News
- 19:21 CET French strike hits refinery output in labour reform showdown
- 19:19 CET Saudi Arabia’s rulers adapt message for social media age
- 19:17 CET Daughter of detained Hong Kong bookseller appeals for U.S. help
- 18:49 CET New Turkish cabinet reflects Erdogan’s growing power
- 18:46 CET U.S.-backed Syrian alliance launches new attack near IS capital
- 18:22 CET 60,000 union workers protest labour reform plans in Brussels
- 18:01 CET Greece starts moving migrants from squalid border camp
- 17:55 CET Student protesters tussle with guards at Chile presidential palace