Catalonia independence - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Catalonia independence

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Catalan separatists' long-awaited trial begins in Madrid

Feb 12, 2019 - 8:08 PM

All are on trial over an independence referendum that was held on October 1, 2017 despite a court ban, as well as a short-lived declaration of independence

TRIAL BEGINS. Former Catalan separatist leaders including (from front row R-L) Oriol Junqueras, Raul Romeva, Joaquim Forn, Jordi Sanchez, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Jordi Cuixart, Carme Forcadell, Dolors Bassa, Carles Mundo, Santi Vila and Meritxel Borras attend their trial at the Supreme Court in Madrid on February 12, 2019. Photo by Emilio Naranjo/Pool/AFP

Madrid begins talks with Catalan separatist leaders

Aug 02, 2018 - 10:09 AM

Representatives of both executives meet for almost 4 hours at the headquarters of the regional government in Barcelona as part of a bilateral commission that has not met since 2011

TALKS. Catalan regional government Transparency Foreign, Institutional Relations and Affairs chief Ernest Maragall (3L) and Spanish minister of terrirorial administration Meritxell Batet (3R) attend a Catalan-Spanish bilateral commission on August 1, 2018 in Barcelona. Photo by Josep Lago/AFP

Catalan president forms gov't without jailed, exiled ministers

May 30, 2018 - 11:23 AM

Newly elected Catalan leader Quim Torra 'signed a new decree to form a government in Catalonia,' his office says in a statement

NEW LEADER. Newly appointed Catalan president Quim Torra delivers a speech during an official swearing-in ceremony at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona on May 17, 2018. File photo by Alberto Estévez/AFP

Puigdemont abandons bid to return as Catalan leader

Mar 02, 2018 - 10:09 AM

'I will not put myself forward as candidate to be appointed regional president,' Catalonia's deposed leader Carles Puigdemont announces solemnly from Belgium

DEPOSED LEADER. This file photo taken on October 10, 2017 shows Catalan president Carles Puigdemont attending a regional government meeting at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona. File photo by Pau Barrena/AFP

The week in photos: February 17-23, 2018

Feb 24, 2018 - 2:21 PM

This week's selection of photo highlights here and around the world

A cow is prepared for a photo shooting during the 45th edition of the Show of the Best" (Schau der Besten) dairy cow beauty pageant on February 22, 2018 in Verden an der Aller, northwestern Germany. / AFP PHOTO / dpa / Carmen Jaspersen / Germany OUT

Uncertainty swirls around Puigdemont investiture vote

Jan 30, 2018 - 7:11 AM

A meeting of the Catalan parliament to vote on a bid by the region's fugitive separatist president Carles Puigdemont to form a new government is in doubt after a court ruled he must be present

PRESENT. This file photo taken on October 27, 2017 shows Catalan president Carles Puigdemont attending a session of the Catalan parliament in Barcelona. Josep Lago/AFP

Spanish court blocks Puigdemont's return to power in Catalonia

Jan 28, 2018 - 8:47 AM

Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium after the Catalan parliament declared independence in October, was earlier this week chosen as a candidate to lead Catalonia again

SUSPENDED. The Spanish constitutional court prevents Catalan leader to grab back power in the country. AFP photo

Puigdemont accuses EU of not defending rights in Catalonia

Jan 23, 2018 - 9:29 AM

Catalonia's sacked president Carles Puigdemont repeats accusations that the European Union is failing to defend fundamental rights in the wealthy Spanish region

IN COPENHAGEN. Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont speaks during a debate at the University of Copenhagen on January 22, 2018. Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

Catalans vote in bid to solve independence crisis

Dec 21, 2017 - 4:35 PM

At stake is the economy of a region that has seen its tourism sector suffer and more than 3,000 companies move their legal headquarters since Catalan leaders held a banned independence referendum on October 1

ELECTIONS. A man holds information placards for the Catalan regional election, during a polling station setup at the 'Prat de la Mata' school on the eve of the voting day in L'Hospitalet del Llobregat on December 20, 2017. Photo by Pau Barrena/AFP

Campaigns go silent ahead of knife-edge Catalan vote

Dec 20, 2017 - 2:43 PM

The regional election pits leaders of the wealthy northeastern region's separatist movement against candidates who want to stay part of a unified Spain

CATALAN VOTE. This file photo taken on September 11, 2016 shows people waving 'Estaladas' (pro-independence Catalan flags) during a pro-independence demonstration in Barcelona during the National Day of Catalonia 'Diada'. File photo by Josep Lago/AFP

Catalan separatists divided ahead of knife-edge vote

Dec 04, 2017 - 12:50 PM

Catalan separatists head into a new election this month divided over the future of their region but united against what they say is 'repression' from Madrid

PRO-INDEPENDENCE. Protesters wave pro-independence Catalan Estelada flags during a demonstration in Barcelona on October 21, 2017 in support of two separatist leaders Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who have been detained pending an investigation into sedition charges. Pau Barrena/AFP/File

Ousted Catalan leader's party shelves 'unilateral' independence push

Nov 23, 2017 - 10:29 PM

The party of ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont now favors talks with Madrid to achieve independence instead of pushing to break away from Spain unilaterally

INDEPENDENCE. A man waves a Catalan pro-independence 'Estelada' flag as people march in Barcelona during a general strike in Catalonia called by Catalan unions on October 3, 2017. Photo by Pau Barrena/AFP

Spain PM Rajoy calls on companies not to leave Catalonia

Nov 12, 2017 - 9:51 PM

'We have to recover the sensible, practical, enterprising and dynamic Catalonia,' says Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy

UNITY. Protesters wave Spanish and Catalan Senyera flags during a pro-unity demonstration in Barcelona on October 29, 2017. Photo by Lluis Gene/AFP

Rajoy in Barcelona for first Catalonia visit since direct rule

Nov 12, 2017 - 4:23 PM

His visit comes two weeks after he dismissed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, his government and the parliament, suspended the region's autonomy and called for new elections there

PM PRESSCON. In this file photo, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gives a press conference after a cabinet meeting at La Moncloa Palace in Madrid, on October 27, 2017. Javier Soriano/AFP

Catalans flood Barcelona to demand leaders' freedom

Nov 12, 2017 - 8:15 AM

8 members of the axed Catalan cabinet are currently detained on charges of sedition, rebellion, and misuse of public funds

UNITED. A man holds an Catalan pro-independence Estelada flag while others hold placars reading 'Freedom' during a demonstration in Barcelona on November 11, 2017 calling for the release of jailed separatist leaders. Josep Lago / AFP

Deposed Catalan leader urges separatist 'unity' for election

Nov 04, 2017 - 11:19 PM

(UPDATED) Carles Puigdemont's rallying cry comes a day after a Spanish judge issued an arrest warrant against him

Spain detains Catalonia's ex-ministers

Nov 03, 2017 - 8:46 AM

Carles Puigdemont, in a statement broadcast on Catalan TV from an undisclosed location, calls for the release of the ministers and says that the situation 'is no longer an internal Spanish affair'

DETENTION. Protesters hold signs reading "Freedom to political prisoners" and "Democracy!" during a demonstration outside the Parliament of Catalonia in Barcelona on November 2, 2017. Photo by Pau Barrena/AFP

Axed Catalan leader spurns Spanish legal summons

Nov 02, 2017 - 7:30 AM

'He will not go to Madrid and I have suggested that he be questioned here in Belgium,' Puigdemont's lawyer says

DEFIANT. In this file photo, then-Catalan regional government president Carles Puigdemont delivers a speech on the sidelines of a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 77th anniversary of the death of Catalan leader Lluis Companys at the Montjuic Cemetery in Barcelona on October 15, 2017. Pau Barrena/AFP

In Belgium for 'safety', axed Catalan leader summoned to Spain court

Nov 01, 2017 - 9:28 AM

(UPDATED) Spain's chief prosecutor says he is seeking charges of rebellion – punishable by up to 30 years behind bars – sedition and misuse of public funds

WANTED. Catalonia's dismissed leader Carles Puigdemont (C) along with other members of his dismissed government address a press conference at The Press Club in Brussels on October 31, 2017. Aurore Belot/AFP

Spain prosecutors go after Catalonia's axed leaders

Oct 30, 2017 - 10:30 PM

(UPDATED) Spain's chief prosecutor says he is seeking charges including rebellion and sedition against the Catalan leaders, sacked by Madrid on October 27

SACKED. Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont smiles as he speaks to residents in Girona on October 28, 2017. Eddy Kelele/AFP

Crunch day for Catalonia as Madrid takes control

Oct 30, 2017 - 4:04 PM

(UPDATED) Catalan leaders, sacked by the central Spanish government, urge 'democratic opposition' to Madrid, raising fears around Europe that Spain's worst crisis in decades might turn ugly

LEADERS. In this file photo, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (L) and President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont arrive for a mass to commemorate victims of terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, at the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona on August 20, 2017. Pascal Guyot/AFP

Mass march for unity after Catalan independence move

Oct 29, 2017 - 6:26 PM

(UPDATED) Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards rally in Catalonia's capital Barcelona, waving national and European flags and chanting 'Viva Espana!' to denounce regional lawmakers' vote to sever the region from Spain

ONE SPAIN. People hold up Spanish flags during a demonstration calling for unity in Barcelona on October 28, 2017, a day after direct control was imposed on Catalonia over a bid to break away from Spain. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

'Independent' Catalonia braces for pro-unity rally

Oct 29, 2017 - 10:00 AM

Pro-unity protesters will gather in Catalonia's capital Barcelona, two days after lawmakers voted to split the wealthy region from Spain

ONE SPAIN. People hold up Spanish flags during a demonstration calling for unity in Barcelona on October 28, 2017, a day after direct control was imposed on Catalonia over a bid to break away from Spain. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Spain seizes control of 'independent' Catalonia

Oct 28, 2017 - 5:28 PM

(UPDATED) All eyes will be on whether Catalonia's separatist executive, led by Carles Puigdemont, will willingly step aside for caretaker envoys from Madrid

Spain on a knife's edge as Madrid seizes control of rebel Catalonia

Oct 28, 2017 - 8:40 AM

After regional lawmakers voted to declare a Catalan 'republic,' Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy moves swiftly to dissolve the rebel government and parliament, and calls December 21 elections to replace them

DISSOLVED? Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gives a press conference after a cabinet meeting at La Moncloa Palace in Madrid, on October 27, 2017. Photo by Javier Soriano/AFP

Rift deepens in wrangle over Catalonia's autonomy

Oct 26, 2017 - 7:30 AM

Catalonia appears to be steering for a head-on clash with Spain after its separatist leader snubs senators in Madrid

DEFIANT. This file photo taken on October 10, 2017 shows Catalan president Carles Puigdemont attending a regional government meeting at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona.  Pau Barrena/AFP

Catalan separatists vow disobedience as Spain standoff mounts

Oct 23, 2017 - 11:55 AM

(3rd UPDATE) The Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party denounces Madrid's plans as the 'biggest aggression' against the Catalan people since the Franco dictatorship

FOR INDEPENDENCE. Protesters wave pro-independence Catalan Estelada flags during a demonstration in Barcelona on October 21, 2017 in support of two separatist leaders Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who have been detained pending an investigation into sedition charges. Pau Barrena/AFP

Spain's Rajoy says 'critical point' reached in Catalonia

Oct 20, 2017 - 9:15 PM

'We have reached a critical point,' Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tells a press conference following an EU leaders summit in Brussels that backed his conservative government

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gestures during a press conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid on October 25, 2016. File photo by Javier Soriano/AFP

Spain to push ahead with suspending Catalan autonomy

Oct 19, 2017 - 4:44 PM

(UPDATED) Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warns he would trigger Article 155 of Spain's constitution – a never-before-used measure allowing it to impose direct rule over the wealthy northeastern region – unless Carles Puigdemont backs down

FOR INDEPENDENCE. People hold candles and a Catalan pro-independence 'Estelada' flag during a demonstration in Barcelona against the arrest of two Catalan separatist leaders on October 17, 2017. Pau Barrena/AFP

Spain to seek suspension of Catalonia's autonomy unless leader backs down

Oct 18, 2017 - 4:25 PM

Spain will seek to suspend Catalonia's autonomy unless the region's leader abandons his push for independence, the country's deputy prime minister says

'ESTELADA' A man holds a Catalan pro-independence 'Estelada' flag during a demonstration in support of the referendum in Catalonia on October 01, 2017, in Granada. Jorge Guerrero/AFP

Senior separatists held as Madrid piles pressure on Catalonia

Oct 17, 2017 - 6:54 AM

A judge at Spain's National Court ordered Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez to be kept behind bars on sedition charges, accused of stirring up major protests

GOING TO COURT. Catalan National Assembly (ANC) president Jordi Sanchez (C), and Pro-independence Catalan Omnium cultural language association president Jordi Cuixart (L), who are under investigation for sedition, wave as they arrive at the High Court in Madrid on October 16, 2017. Gabriel Bouys/AFP

Hapilon and Maute, war on drugs, Catalonia | Evening wRap

Oct 16, 2017 - 10:02 PM

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Spain gives Catalans 3 days to drop independence bid

Oct 16, 2017 - 3:10 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Catalonia's separatist leader Carles Puigdemont tells the central government he wants to 'suspend' initiating steps towards independence for two months to start talks with Madrid

SEEKING A REPRIEVE. In this file photo, Catalan president Carles Puigdemont poses before an Agence France-Presse interview in Girona on September 30, 2017. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Catalan leader pressured as independence deadline looms

Oct 16, 2017 - 12:20 AM

Carles Puigdemont faces a deadline on Monday, October 16, to clear up his ambiguous stance on secession

Catalan regional government president Carles Puigdemont delivers a speech on the sidelines of a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 77th anniversary of the death of Catalan leader Lluis Companys at the Montjuic Cemetery in Barcelona on October 15, 2017. Companys had proclaimed a "Catalan state in the Spanish federal republic" in 1934 to oppose the conservatives who governed in Madrid. Exiled in France, Companys was denounced by the Nazis in 1940 and handed over to Spain where he was executed. / AFP PHOTO / PAU BARRENA

Spain marks national day with show of unity in Catalan crisis

Oct 13, 2017 - 9:16 AM

To mark the national holiday, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and King Felipe VI attend the parade in central Madrid as the country struggles with its worst political crisis in a generation

NATIONAL DAY. Protesters wave Spanish and Catalan flags during a demonstration called by Catalan Civil Society under the motto 'Catalonia yes, Spain too' in Barcelona on October 12, 2017. Photo by Jorge Guerrero/AFP

Catalan leaders sign independence declaration but put it on hold

Oct 11, 2017 - 7:55 AM

As Spain heads into the unknown, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy wil chair an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the central government's response

CRISIS MODE. Catalan regional government president Carles Puigdemont (C) chairs a regional government meeting at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona on October 10, 2017. Pau Barrena/AF{

Catalan leader maintains independence threat after unity rallies

Oct 09, 2017 - 10:43 AM

(UPDATED) The protests follow days of soaring tensions after police cracked down on voters during a banned October 1 Catalan independence referendum, prompting separatist leaders to warn they would unilaterally break away from Spain in days

DEMONSTRATION. Protesters hold Spanish flags during a demonstration called by "Societat Civil Catalana" (Catalan Civil Society) to support the unity of Spain on October 8, 2017 in Barcelona. Photo by Pau Barrena/AFP

Huge rally in Barcelona against Catalan independence

Oct 08, 2017 - 10:40 PM

(UPDATED) Some protesters call for Catalonia's separatist president Carles Puigdemont to go to jail, while others call for dialogue

Protesters congratulate Spanish policemen after a demonstration called by "Societat Civil Catalana" (Catalan Civil Society) to support the unity of Spain on October 8, 2017 in Barcelona. Ten of thousands of flag-waving demonstrators packed central Barcelona to rally against plans by separatist leaders to declare Catalonia independent following a banned secession referendum. Catalans calling themselves a "silent majority" opposed to leaving Spain broke their silence after a week of mounting anxiety over the country's worst political crisis in a generation.  / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE

Spain protesters demand action on Catalonia crisis

Oct 07, 2017 - 7:43 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Madrid's central Colon Square transforms into a sea of Spanish flags as several thousand people join a 'patriotic' march organized by activists to defend the unity of Spain

MASS PROTESTS. Protestors gather holding Spanish flags during a demonstration against independence of Catalonia called by DENAES foundation for the Spanish Nation Defence at Colon square in Madrid on October 07, 2017. Photo by Javier Soriano/AFP

Spain rejects mediation as Catalans plan to declare independence

Oct 05, 2017 - 10:00 AM

(UPDATED) Catalan leaders say they could unilaterally declare independence as early as Monday, October 9

A man holds a Catalan pro-independence 'Estelada' flag during a demonstration in support of the referendum in Catalonia on October 01, 2017, in Granada. / AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO

Catalan crisis worsens after Spanish king slams independence bid

Oct 04, 2017 - 7:39 AM

(UPDATED) Spain braces for further political upheaval as a crisis over Catalan demands for independence deepened after King Felipe VI urges authorities to defend 'constitutional order'

THE KING SPEAKS. This handout picture released on October 3, 2017 by the Spanish Royal House (Casa Real) shows Spain's King Felipe VI addressing the nation on October 3, 2017 in Madrid, as the country grapples with its biggest political crisis in decades over an independence drive in Catalonia. Francisco Gomez/Casa Real/Handout/AFP

Spain in crisis after police violence in Catalan vote

Oct 03, 2017 - 7:19 AM

Spain comes under international pressure to resolve a spiraling crisis with its Catalan region after a banned independence referendum was marred by shocking scenes of police violence

IN PROTEST. People shout slogans as they wave Catalan pro-independence 'Estelada' flags during a protest in Barcelona on October 2, 2017 a day after hundreds were injured in a police crackdown during Catalonia's banned independence referendum. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Catalan leader threatens independence from Spain after chaotic vote

Oct 02, 2017 - 7:16 AM

Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont says the region won the right to break away from Spain after 'millions' turned out to vote in an independence referendum banned by Madrid

SI. A man waves an 'Estelada' (Pro-independence Catalan flag) from a balcony after the closing of the 'Espai Jove La Fontana' (La Fontana youth center) polling station, on October 1, 2017 in Barcelona. Pau Barrena/AFP

Thousands rally for unity across Spain ahead of Catalonia vote

Oct 01, 2017 - 8:35 AM

Thousands of flag-waving protesters rallied in cities across Spain in favor of national unity, a day before a banned referendum on independence for Catalonia

FOR UNITY. People hold a giant Spanish flag during a demonstration against independence in Catalonia, on September 30, 2017 in Barcelona. Lluis Gene/AFP

Catalan leader urges 'mediation' in referendum crisis

Oct 01, 2017 - 8:05 AM

The standoff between the central government and Catalan leaders over their plans to hold an independence referendum has morphed into one of the biggest crises to hit Spain in decades

CATALAN LEADER. Catalan president Carles Puigdemont poses before an Agence France-Presse interview in Girona on September 30, 2017. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Police seal off 1,300 polling stations in Catalonia as resistance continues

Sep 30, 2017 - 10:57 PM

Teachers, parents, students and activists have leapt into action to defend the vote slated for Sunday, defying Madrid's warnings of repercussions

CATALONIA VOTE. In this file photo, a man holding a symbolic ballot marked with a 'Yes' attends a protest against a search for propaganda supporting Catalonia's independence referendum by the Spanish Guardia Civil at the private postal service company Unipost in Terrassa on September 19, 2017. Photo by Lluis Gene/AFP

Catalan police warn of public disorder if polling stations closed

Sep 28, 2017 - 9:01 AM

The Catalan government has vowed to press ahead with Sunday's (October 1) plebiscite in the wealthy northeastern region despite a crackdown by Madrid which wants to prevent a vote deemed unconstitutional by the courts

CRY FOR FREEDOM. People raise their fist and wave Esteladas (Pro-independence Catalan flag) during a campaign meeting for a banned independence referendum on September 27, 2017 in Barcelona. Pau Barrena/AFP

Basque group ETA slams Madrid's opposition to Catalan independence vote

Sep 27, 2017 - 6:58 PM

The Basque separatist group ETA says Madrid 'trampled on the rights' of the Catalan people

In this file photo, a man holding a symbolic ballot marked with a 'Yes' attends a protest against a search for propaganda supporting Catalonia's independence referendum by the Spanish Guardia Civil at the private postal service company Unipost in Terrassa on September 19, 2017. Lluis Gene/AFP

Spain police search Catalan gov't headquarters amid referendum row

Sep 20, 2017 - 3:31 PM

The operation comes amid mounting tensions as Catalan leaders press ahead with preparations for an independence referendum on October 1 despite Madrid's ban and a court ruling deeming it illegal

Spanish Civil Guards and Catalan regional police officers 'Mossos D'Esquadra' stand in front of the Economy headquarters of Catalonia's regional government in Barcelona on September 20, 2019, during a search by Spain's Guardia Civil police. Josep Lago/AFP

Pro-independence Catalan mayors appear before prosecutors

Sep 20, 2017 - 7:38 AM

Spain's public prosecutor have opened an investigation into more than 700 Catalan mayors who have backed the referendum slated for October 1, which the country's Constitutional Court has ordered be suspended

'SI' A man holding a symbolic ballot marked with a 'Yes' attends a protest against a search for propaganda supporting Catalonia's independence referendum by the Spanish Guardia Civil at the private postal service company Unipost in Terrassa on September 19, 2017. Lluis Gene/AFP