Catalan Leader Claims Vote Favors Independence
He says it’s decided. After a day of clashes reportedly injured more than 800 people over an independence referendum in Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region, its leader, Carles Puigdemont, claimed victory for the separatist cause. National courts outlawed the plebiscite, and federal authorities seized ballot papers as riot police using rubber bullets clashed with people trying to vote. Puidgemont said the result sets the stage for a declaration of an independent Catalan republic, but Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that no referendum had been held and the Madrid government doesn’t recognize secession efforts.