Speed Reads

Catalan independence

Catalan leader asserts right to independence while calling for talks with Spain

On Tuesday, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont asserted that Catalonia had earned the right to independence from Spain, but asked the regional parliament "to suspend the declaration of independence" so talks could continue with the central government in Madrid, The New York Times reports. Puigdemont left open the possibility of dialogue with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who has so far refused to explore conversations about Catalonia's secession.

Madrid immediately rejected Catalonia's "tacit" declaration after Puigdemont's speech, AFP reports. An Oct. 1 vote found Catalans in support of their independence, although the vote was ruled illegal by the Spanish courts.

"We are not criminals or coup plotters — just ordinary people who simply want to vote," Puigdemont said Tuesday. "We have nothing against the Spaniards."