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BREAKING NEWS

Puigdemont calls on Catalans to "maintain the pulse of our country"

Puigdemont tells Catalans the future is "in our and your hands" after parliament votes for independence.

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Puigdemont calls on Catalans to "maintain the pulse of our country"

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A triumphal atmosphere in Catalonia for some after the region’s parliament, defying Madrid’s threat to impose direct rule, voted to declare independence.

Leader Carles Puigdemont was surrounded by cheering loyalist mayors when he spoke after the vote.

“Citizens of Catalonia, in the next hours we will all have to maintain the pulse of our country, to maintain it especially in a peaceful, civil and dignified way.

It is in our and your hands to continue to strengthen the foundations that make Catalonia, not only an old European nation, but above all a society that has always responded peacefully and civically to its great democratic challenges. Long live Cataluña,” he said, to cheers.