Puigdemont urged to declare Catalan independence by allies

- Puigdemont urged to declare Catalan independence by allies.

- Ultimatum from Madrid expires by Monday.

- Former Catalan President says declaring independence is not the only way forward.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has received some backing from key allies in his regional government asking him to declare the region's independence from Spain in a move that has only added to the growing
pressure on the Catalan leader.

Spanish Prime Minister had previously issued an ultimatum to Catalonia to clarify whether or not it has declared its independence to enable the Madrid based government decide on how to proceed; an ultimatum which expires by Monday.

This stems from the fact that Puigdemont made a symbolic declaration of independence on Tuesday night, only to suspend it seconds later and call for negotiations with Madrid. 

But far-left Catalan political group CUP called on Puigdemont to make an unequivocal declaration of independence in defiance of the deadlines.

“If (the central Madrid government) wants to continue to threaten and gag us, they should do it to the Republic that has already been claimed,” the party said.

The CUP only holds 10 seats in the 135-seat Catalan parliament. But Puigdemont’s minority government relies on its support to push through legislation and cannot win a majority vote in the regional parliament without its backing.

However, the leader of Puigdemont’s party, Artur Mas, who served as the region’s president until 2016 and is still believed to influence key decisions, said on Friday declaring independence was not the only way forward.

“If a state proclaims itself independent and cannot act as such, it’s an independence that is merely aesthetic,” he told Catalan television TV3.

“The external factor must be taken into account in the decisions that will be made from now on,” he said.

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