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Spain's king denounces Catalan leaders; Catalonia to declare independence soon

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Spain's king denounces Catalan leaders; Catalonia to declare independence soon

Spain's King Felipe VI on Oct. 3 accused Catalan secessionist leaders of dividing Catalan society. Undeterred, secessionist leader Carles Puigdemont said Catalonia will declare independence from Spain "in a matter of days."

The king, in his televised address, said the "irresponsible behavior" of the Catalan leaders undermined social harmony in the region, Reuters reported Oct. 3.

"Today Catalan society is fractured and in conflict. [The Catalan leaders] have infringed the system of legally approved rules with their decisions, showing an unacceptable disloyalty towards the powers of the state."

In a test of will between Spain and Catalonia, Puigdemont said Oct. 3 that Catalonia will declare independence from Spain "in a matter of days" after 90% voted in favor of leaving Spain.

Puigdemont told BBC News his government would "act at the end of this week or the beginning of next."

Asked what he would do if the Spanish government were to take control of Catalonia's government, he said it would be "an error which changes everything."

Thousands of Catalans demonstrated Oct. 3 against the violent crackdown by the Spanish police who tried to disrupt Catalan's Oct. 1 vote, injuring 900 people.