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Catalan declaration of independence signed, but yet to come into force

October 10, 23:40 UTC+3

"We establish the Catalan Republic as an independent and sovereign, legal, democratic and social state," the document reads

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Catalonia’s leader Carles Puigdemont

Catalonia’s leader Carles Puigdemont

©  Manu Fernandez/AP

MADRID, October 10. /TASS/. Catalonia’s leader Carles Puigdemont and other top officials have signed a decree to proclaim the region’s independence from Spain, which is yet to come into force.

A photograph from the ceremony of the signing was posted on the Catalan government’s official Twitter page.

"We establish the Catalan Republic as an independent and sovereign, legal, democratic and social state," the document reads.

The document also proclaims "the entry into force of the law on the transitional period for [the] justice [system] and the republic’s principal institutions."

"We are launching the founding process - democratic, based on the will of the people, all-encompassing, inclusive and legally binding," the document reads. "We confirm the determination to start without preconditions talks with the Spanish government, intended to establish the framework for mutually beneficial cooperation. Those talks are to be conducted on an equal basis."

The region’s government also called on the international community and the European Union authorities to observe the future talks, and confirmed the Catalonia’s pro-European course.

Catalonia also guaranteed the "unilateral implementation of legal norms of the European Union and the Spanish state."

"We call on states and international organizations to recognize the Catalan Republic as an independent and sovereign state," the document reads.

The declaration was signed by Catalonia’s head Carles Puigdemont, his deputy his deputy Oriol Junqueras, Catalan Parliament chairman Carme Forcadell and 72 members of the legislature’s ruling majority.

The declaration, which has no legal force so far, will be submitted to the parliament for a vote if talks between Barcelona and Madrid on peaceful settlement of the crisis fail.

The signing of the declaration took place in the Catalan government following the official address by the head of the region’s autonomous government to lawmakers, in which he officially declared the results of the October 1 independence vote.

Puigdemont earlier said that based on the results of the referendum on secession from Spain, Catalonia has earned the right to become an independent republic. However, he added, the region would suspend the process of declaring independence in a bid to establish a constructive dialogue with Madrid.

According to the Catalan government, as many as 90.18% of voters supported the idea of Catalonia’s independence. In all, 2.28 million Catalans, or 43% out of 5.3 million eligible voters, took part in the referendum. The Spanish authorities however regard this referendum illegal and refuse to recognize its results.

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