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Catalan parliament defies Madrid pressure, works on independence declaration

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Tiles with the Estelada (Catalan separatist flag) are displayed on a table covered with a Catalan flag at an arts and craft market four days after the banned independence referendum, in Barcelona, Spain October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera

BARCELONA/MADRID (Reuters) – Catalan secessionists were working on Friday towards a unilateral declaration of independence from Spain that could be adopted next week in defiance of a court order and increased economic pressure from Madrid.

After Spain’s Constitutional Court suspended a session of the Catalan regional parliament set for Monday, which had been expected to endorse an independence declaration, the parliament said the region’s pro-independence leader Carles Puigdemont had asked to address the assembly on Tuesday.

Madrid apologized for the first time on Friday for police use of violence in trying to hinder a weekend referendum it had declared illegal. That crackdown raised the temperature of a confrontation that has grown into the worst political crisis for decades in Spain.

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Reuters

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