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Rafael Nadal 'heartbroken' over Catalan independence referendum clashes
07 October 2017, 12:45 | Kristopher Drake
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Tuesday's protest follows a call by Catalan trade unions for a general strike in Spain's northeastern region to condemn police violence, which left nearly 900 injured, during Sunday's unauthorised vote.
In a televised address on Wednesday night, Puigdemont said: "This moment calls for mediation".
Pro-independence parties who control the regional government staged Sunday's referendum in defiance of the Constitutional Court, which had ruled that the vote violated Spain's 1978 constitution which states the country is indivisible.
"Today Catalan society is fractured and in conflict", King Felipe VI said.
More than two million Catalans voted to eave Spain last Sunday in a poll marred by a violent police reaction.
On Tuesday, huge crowds held street protests and unions staged a strike in Catalonia to protest against the alleged police brutality.
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It has been a part of Spain since the 15th century but has a long history of separatist sentiment.
More than 50 barricades or protests had blocked roads across Spain's north-eastern region yesterday morning, including major toll roads and motorways which link the country to France, with Catalan president Carles Puigdemont calling on Twitter for a "democratic, civic, dignified protest".
Puigdemont said there was now no contact between the government in Madrid and his devolved administration.
The Spanish government has described the referendum as illegal.
"If he says "as of tomorrow Catalonia will be an independent state", this will be seen as very confrontational to the Spanish Government". Demonstrations also took place in several other Catalan cities, including Girona and Lleida.
For more, we speak with Sebastiaan Faber, professor of Hispanic studies at Oberlin College and author of the forthcoming book "Memory Battles of the Spanish Civil War: History, Fiction, Photography".
The reigning Spanish monarch said the referendum had shown a "lack of loyalty" to the government, criticising the referendum as undemocratic.
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