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Catalonia refuses to back down on independence

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 01:16

Arrests of two pro-independence leaders has sparked protests in Spain's autonomous region of Catalonia. Catalan leaders say they won't back down on their push to break away from Madrid. Lucy Fielder reports.

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Behind bars on Tuesday (October 17): the leaders of Catalonia's two main separatist groups. Pending trial for sedition as Spain's worst political crisis in decades deepens. Their jailing Monday (October 16) night sparking protests. And a government walk-out on Tuesday. Catalonia is refusing to renounce its symbolic declaration of independence. Madrid has given Catalan leaders until Thursday (October 19) to do so. SOUNDBITE (Catalan) CATALONIA'S GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN JORDI TURULL, SAYING: "That is what we are insisting on and that is what we are going to say on Thursday. We will not say anything different from what we said on Monday: Let's sit down and talk. There is a clamor saying that we are the ones who should talk. We want to talk and we can talk. The others don't." So it looks ever more likely that Spain will impose direct rule on the autonomous region. Also under investigation: Catalonia's police chief. Accused of failing to order his force to impose a ban on an independence referendum last month. While the two pro-independence leaders are accused of helping to orchestrate protests. The Catalan government accusing Madrid of taking political prisoners - a reminder of life under dictator General Franco, when Catalan culture was suppressed.

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Catalonia refuses to back down on independence

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 01:16