Gerard Pique jeered by Spain supporters after Catalonia independence referendum

Posted October 07, 2017

Barcelona's Catalan defender Gerard Pique was targeted by angry Spain fans on Monday as he took part in an open training session with the national team the day after the Catalonia independence referendum that was declared illegal by the Government.

Speaking to reporters, he called for "mediation", "which means there must be the presence of a third party, which must be global to be efficient".

"Today Catalan society is fractured and in conflict", King Felipe VI said.

The results of the vote overwhelmingly backed independence, although turnout was 42 percent because those in favor of keeping Spain as one country boycotted it.

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Spain has been rocked by the poll and the Spanish police response to it, which saw batons and rubber bullets used to prevent people voting.

Catalans announced a general strike Tuesday following police violence during a referendum on independence.

Puigdemont warned that if the Spanish government attempted to intervene and take control of Catalonia's government, it would be "an error which changes everything".

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said late Sunday that the Spanish region had won "the right to statehood" and he would soon present the result of the referendum to the regional Parliament to make it binding, the New York Times reported.

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Spokesman Jordi Turull described King Felipe's intervention as a gravely irresponsible act that "puts more logs on the fire". During Spain's June friendly against Colombia in Murcia, a city in southeast Spain, he was jeered by supporters who oppose Catalonia independence.

Canada is trying its best to be quiet about the police violence with a statement from the foreign minister's office that solutions must be found "within the rule of law, according to the Spanish Constitution, and through peaceful dialogue". The 31-year-old, who grew up and lives on the Balearic island of Mallorca but is also a Catalan speaker, said he had watched events of the weekend unfold "with concern and sadness".

Outside of Catalonia, Spaniards mostly hold strong views against its independence drive. Puigdemont is seeking global mediation following the vote, saying he wants to reach an understanding with the Spanish government, and avoid a "traumatic break".

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