The President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont has addressed the Catalan parliament where he has declared his intention to form an independent Republic of Catalonia.
In the speech, Puigdemont pledged to work with all parties in long ranging negotiations, in order to implement the results of the referendum, in which 90% of voters opted to leave Spain and form a Catalan state.
Carles Puigdemont called on all factions in Catalonia and Spain to work peacefully for an eventual settlement in the negotiations he called for between Madrid and Barcelona. He also called on the wider European community to help both sides to reach a final settlement.
The Catalan President stated that while it is his duty to execute the will of the Catalan people, as expressed the in October 1st referendum, that he seeks first and foremost to de-escalate tensions with Madrid, calling on all sides in Catalonia and all sides in Spain to show respect to one another and work for a peaceful future in line with a common European community and the European values he stated that Catalonia represents.
While not a full official declaration of independence, the declaration of intent is clear. Catalonia will now work to begin talks on establishing the terms of independence. It was a declaration in all but name, in this sense.