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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