Protesters gather outside of polling center as Spain outlaws referendum
Protesters gather outside of polling center as Spain outlaws referendumReuters

The Spanish government has given Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont five days to decide whether he will declare independence following a recent referendum. Should he refuse to do so, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy vowed to suspend the region’s autonomy and impose direct rule.

Puigdemont signed a document declaring independence from Spain on Tuesday but delayed its implementation.

Regional president Carles Puigdemont was the first to sign the Declaration of the Representatives of Catalonia document, followed by dozens of other lawmakers who signed it in the regional parliament in Barcelona, reported The Press Association.

The signing ceremony came hours after Puigdemont addressed the parliament, saying Catalans had earned the right to independence from Spain after the referendum on October 1.

At the same time, he called for dialogue with Spain’s government, which has condemned the referendum as illegal and unconstitutional.

The central government in Spain responded by saying it did not accept the declaration of independence by the separatists and did not consider the October 1 referendum or its results to be valid.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)