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Catalan leader suggests waiting on independence

Updated: 2017-10-11 02:25

Catalan leader suggests waiting on independence

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont reviews his notes at the start of a plenary session at the Catalonian regional parliament in Barcelona, Spain,on Tuesday. [Photo/Agencies]

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said on Tuesday he has a mandate to declare independence for the northeastern region, but proposes waiting "a few weeks" in order to facilitate a dialogue.

Puigdemont told the Catalan parliament that a landslide victory in the region's disputed Oct 1 referendum on independence gives his government grounds to implement its long-held desire to break century-old ties with Spain. But he is suggesting holding off.

Puigdemont's speech was highly critical of the Spanish government's response to the referendum, but he said Catalans have nothing against Spain or Spaniards, and that they want to understand each other better.

At the end of his speech, Puigdemont was applauded by standing lawmakers who advocate independence.

He said he will ask for mandate to declare Catalonia an independent state.

"We propose to suspend the effect of the independence declaration ... in order to work towards putting into practice the result of the referendum... Today, we are making a gesture of responsibility in favour of dialogue," he said.

AP - Reuters


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