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King Felipe VI condemns “unacceptable disloyalty” as thousands protest in Catalonia

Catalan President speaks of declaring independence in the “next few days”. Evangelicals call politicians to “deactivate the conflict with honest and sincere dialogue”.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus MADRID 04 OCTOBER 2017 16:14 h GMT+1
King Felipe gives his speech about the crisis in Spain and Catalonia on October, 3. / Casa Real

The escalation of tension in Spain and Catalonia continues.



After the unauthorised vote on October 1, hundreds of thousands in Catalonia joined a general strike on Tuesday.



Dozens of marches denounced “police repression”, after the incidents that caused injuries to 900 people two days earlier.



Aproximately 70% of business in Catalonia joined the strike. Groups of demonstrators cut off the circulation in several key roads across the territory and others protested in front of the Barcelonian headquarters of unionist parties.



Others also stood in front of hotels where Spanish police officers are hosted, forcing some officers to find accomodation elsewhere.Even so, the great majority of these demonstrations were peaceful and messages on social media called to avoid violence.



 



DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE IN NEXT FEW DAYS?



One of the main political actors in the crisis, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, said his parliamentary majority could declare the unilateral independence of Catalonia “in the coming days”. A plenary session has been announced for Monday, 9 October. This decision would create an unprecedented situation in Spain.



"Ciudadanos", the party leading the opposition in Catalonia, called authorities in Madrid to apply Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, through which the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy could take over all competencies of the Catalan regional government.





PROTESTANTS: “DIALOGUE TO DEACTIVATE THE CONFLICT”



In the midst of this very tense scenario, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are filled with messages calling to find solutions to the conflict to avoid tragic scenarios. But many are also using hate speech.



Evangelical representatives such as the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, denominations and individual pastors have called to pray and become “bridge builders”. Opinion articles and sermons also call church members to be aware of their “heavenly citizenship” when discussing socio-political issues.



The latest statement of the Protestant Federation FEREDE asked political leaders to “open an honest and sincere dialogue to deactivate the conflict that is causing so much pain, uncertainty and suffering to all citizens”.



The Roman Catholic Church in Catalonia has offered to mediate in the political conflict.



 



KING FELIPE VI: “UNITY AND CONTINUITY OF SPAIN”



On Tuesday evening, King Felipe VI gave an unusual speech on television to address the “extremely serious situation”.



He said authorities in Catalonia “have systematically infringed the rules”. “The Catalan society - he added - is fractured and at loggerheads”.



The Catalan authorities “have unequivocally and categorically placed themselves outside the law and outside democracy. They have tried to break Spain’s unity and national sovereignty, which is the right of all Spanish people to democratically decide on their life together”, he said.



Felipe VI ended his speech by expressing his own “dedication to a climate of understanding and harmony among Spaniards, and my commitment, as King, to the unity and continuity of Spain”.



During the speech, the Head of State did not mention the scenes of violence which have sparked protests in Catalonia.



 



HEAD OF CATALAN POLICE UNDER INVESTIGATION



On Wednesday, the Spanish Attorney General announced that the Head of the Catalan police is under investigation for sedition. The regional police has been accused of not obeying the commands of the central government in certain moemnts last week.



The leaders of the two biggest pro-independence civil groups in Catalonia, “Assamblea Nacional Catalana” and “Omnium Cultural” have also been called to declare in front of the Spanish High Court.



 



THE EU DEBATES THE CRISIS IN CATALONIA



Also on Wednesday, the European Parliament saw the beginning of a heated debate on the Catalan crisis, in which Spanish representatives showed their disagreement over the words of King Felipe VI the night before. While some denounced the violence and the “right to decide” of Catalonia, others defended the rule of the Spanish Constitution. In the afternoon, the main European groups cotinued wirh the debate.



Earilier, several key EU leaders expressed their support for the Spanish legality. In addiation, they asked not to use violence against the population.


 

 


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