Catalonia suspends independence declaration, calls for talks with Spain

- Catalonia suspends independence declaration, calls for talks with Spain.

- Puigdemont says we cannot force the people to accept a status quo that they can't accept.

- Our demands have always been expressed peacefully, we are not criminals.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has stated that basedn on the votes counted in the referendum held on October 1st, it is his responsibility to
declare Catalonia as an independent country as they had earned the right but has decided to put the declaration on hold pending the outcome of a dialogue with the Spanish government.

Puigdemont disclosed this during an address to the Catalan regional parliament in Barcelona on Tuesday.

"Based on the results of October 1st, Catalonia has earned the right to be an independent country and has earned the right to be listened to and respected," Puigdemont said in his speech.

"The ballot boxes are telling us the people are in favour of independence and that is the path we follow.

"By being the president, I assume my responsibility to declare that Catalonia should become an independent state in the form of a republic.

"Our demands have always been expressed peacefully, we are not criminals, we are not crazy, we are not staging a coup," he said, adding: "We cannot force the people to accept a status quo that they can't accept."

Thereafter, Puigdemont asked the Catalan regional parliament to immediately and temporarily suspend its declaration of independence pending the outcome of dialogue with Madrid.

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