Barcelona mayor says Catalan independence drive a 'disaster'
© AFP | Barcelona Nayor Ada Colau accused the ousted Catalan lawmakers of "tricking" the population with their "unilateral independence declaration".
Barcelona's mayor on Saturday accused the ousted government of Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont of overseeing a "disaster" in their push to break away from Spain. Just hours before she was due to attend a rally in the Catalan capital organised by pro-independence groups, Ada Colau fired a broadside against Puigdemont's "irresponsible" drive, which has plunged Spain into political crisis.
"They've provoked tensions and carried out a unilateral independence declaration which the majority do not want," Colau told a meeting of her party members.
"They've tricked the population for their own interests."
Catalan lawmakers voted on October 27 to declare independence after a banned referendum returned an overwhelming "yes" on splitting from Spain.
But the region itself is deeply divided on the issue, and opponents of independence say the October 1 referendum, which Spain's Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional, had been boycotted by those against secession.
Colau herself is anti-independence but has gone on record as saying she supports a free and official referendum on the issue.
Pro-independence groups have called for mass protests in Barcelona on Saturday against the jailing of several former Catalan officials, who were sacked by the central government after declaring independence.