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Posted On : 9 Oct, 2017  Source : IANS  Place : Paris 
France snubs Catalonia independence bid
The French government on Monday said it will not recognise Catalonia if it declares independence from Spain and such a move will mean expulsion from the European Union.

European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau said the crisis following the banned October 1 referendum had to be resolved through dialogue within Spain, BBC reported.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont is expected to address the regional Parliament on Tuesday as there was no sign of a compromise with Madrid.

The region of Catalonia, home to 7.5 million people in the northeast, is crucial to Spain, which is the EU's fifth-biggest economy and a member of Nato.

Catalonia's High Court asked for Spanish national police to provide extra security at the court building in the event of the Catalan Parliament declaring independence. The building was later guarded by local police.

The leader of Spain's Socialist opposition party, Pedro Sanchez, told reporters in Barcelona that his party would back government action if independence was declared unilaterally on Tuesday.

"We reach out for dialogue but we'll support the response of the rule of law in the face of any attempt to break social harmony."

Catalonia's Parliament had been due to meet on Monday with the expectation that it would endorse the declaration of independence. However, the session was blocked by the Spanish Constitutional Court, which had likewise sought to stop the referendum itself.

Final results from the referendum suggested that 43 per cent of Catalan voters turned out and 90 per cent of them backed independence -- but "No" voters largely boycotted the ballot.

At least 350,000 people joined a unionist rally in Barcelona on Sunday, after recent massive rallies by separatists and democracy activists in the city.

According to Catalonia officials, some 900 civilians and 33 police officers were hurt on referendum day when police sought to stop the vote at some polling stations by force.
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