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Puigdemont declares independence for Catalonia but suspends it in search of dialogue

Central government sources believe the speech by the Catalan premier to be a declaration of secession; measures such as Article 155 could be applied. Read our live coverage as it happened

Declaracion de Independencia de Cataluña
Regional premier Carles Puigdemont arrives in parliament. EFE

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There was huge expectation surrounding a session of the Catalan parliament that was scheduled for Tuesday at 6pm, when regional premier Carles Puigdemont was expected to make a statement to “explain the political situation.”

In the event, the leader of the Junts pel Si (Together for Yes) did not speak until 7pm, due to a disagreement over the content of his speech with his partners in the far-left CUP party.

During his address, of nearly an hour, Puigdemont declared independence unilaterally based on a ballot that lacked all basic democratic guarantees, and which yielded 90% of Yes votes as the vast majority of Remainers stayed home, for a turnout of less than half of the voter pool.

But he immediately suspended it in search of dialogue. Central government sources stated they would take action over what they saw as a unilateral declaration of independence, which could include Article 155: the suspension of the region's autonomy.

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