Spanish king accused of ignoring millions of Catalans

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has attacked Spain’s King Felipe VI for “deliberately ignoring millions of Catalans”.

In a TV address, Mr Puigdemont accused the king of adopting the Spanish government’s position.

“This moment calls for mediation,” he said. He has indicated that Catalonia could declare independence next week.

King Felipe made his own TV address on Tuesday night, calling Sunday’s Catalan referendum illegal and undemocratic.

Twenty-four hours later, Mr Puigdemont claimed that the king had rejected a moderating role granted to him by the Spanish constitution.

In response, the Spanish government in Madrid said it would not accept “blackmail” from the Catalan leader.

Mr Puigdemont must return to the path of law before any negotiation could take place, it said said in a statement (in Spanish).

His criticism of the king showed that he was “out of touch with reality,” it added.

Mr Puigdemont told the BBC on Tuesday that he would declare independence “at the end of this week or the beginning of next”.

The Catalan government has said there will be an extraordinary meeting of parliament on Monday to discuss the outcome of the disputed referendum.

While Catalan officials put the vote in support of independence at nearly 90%, final results have not yet been released. The turnout has been estimated as 42%.

In his statement on Wednesday evening, Mr Puigdemont did not give any further details of a possible declaration of independence.

Switching to Spanish from Catalan, he thanked Spanish citizens who had sent their “solidarity” to Catalonia. (Courtesy BBC)

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