Spanish leftist politicians call on Spain PM to resign over Catalonia

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Spanish leftist politicians call on Spain PM to resign over Catalonia

Catalonia will declare its independence from Spain in the coming days, the region's leader Carles Puigdemont said in a BBC interview on Wednesday.

"The government of Catalonia will create a special commission on the violations of fundamental rights that were seen in Catalonia", Puigdemont announced. Public opinion studies have repeatedly shown that most Catalonia residents support a referendum.

The regional government called the referendum earlier this year, but the Spanish Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional.

"While that's the position of Spain, I understand that, you can not simply ignore the kind of strength of feeling that we've seen expressed". He also thanked security forces for upholding the law and doing their job.

A tough crackdown on the vote by Spanish riot police has drawn criticism from some quarters and prompted hundreds of thousands of Catalans to rally in protest.

Catalans voted on Sunday in a disputed referendum that asked whether the region should become independent.

Spanish media reported that police confiscated some of the banners, including one which described Pique as "sickening".

Images of police using rubber bullets and batons on voters were broadcast worldwide over the weekend - prompting condemnation internationally and intensifying the anger that brought Catalans to the streets. Residents of Barcelona who were beaten by police officers on their way to the ballots say they will continue to fight for independence from Spain.

"Police responses must at all times be proportionate and necessary".

Those who participated voted overwhelmingly for independence, a result that was expected since residents who favour remaining part of Spain mainly boycotted the vote.

Some groups and minor trade unions have called for a general strike across the region of 7.5 million people, though the larger unions are pushing for narrower demonstrations. But given the chaotic nature of the vote, all figures should be taken with great caution.

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