SPAIN ON THE BRINK: Deposed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont ‘refuses to be fired’ and vows to fight Madrid direct rule

Carles Puigdemont delivered a speech to say he would not acknowledge his dismissal (Image: AP: Associated Press)

 

Spain remains on a knife-edge as tensions between both sides continue to grow, with brawls already having broken out in Barcelona last night

As the Spanish government held its first meeting to discuss their new roles since imposing direct rule over Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont instead promised to continue to build a “free country”, and called for “democratic opposition” to Madrid.

In the pre-recorded, televised message, Puigdemont urged people to continue pushing for independence, saying: “We do not deviate: we continue persevering in the only attitude that can make us winners.

“Without violence, without insults, in an inclusive way, respecting people and symbols, opinions, and also respecting the protests of the Catalans who do not agree with what has decided the parliamentary majority.” Continue reading

Greece debt crisis: PM Alexis Tsipras faces Syriza mutiny after capitulating to demands

As was said just yesterday.

 

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras returned to face a mutiny within his coalition after he surrendered to European demands for action to qualify for up to 86 billion euros ($127.8 billion) of aid Greece needs to stay in the euro.

With two factions in his government already saying they won’t support the deal, Tsipras met with his closest aides as he tries to stop the revolt from spreading before a vote in parliament on Wednesday. Creditors’ demands include an overhaul of sales tax, a broadening of the tax base and a clampdown on pension costs.

Tsipras will “have to change his administration and clear out hardliners and radicals from his party,” as well as rely on opposition support to pass the necessary measures, said Eurasia Group analysts Mujtaba Rahman and Federico Santi. “But it is a tough call to determine how Tsipras will go about doing this.” Continue reading