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Spanish Crackdown in Catalonia 'Blow to Democracy' - Italian Lawmaker

© REUTERS / Francois LenoirCatalan Raimon Castellvi wears a flag with an Estelada (Catalan separatist flag) as he protests outside the European Commission in Brussels after Sunday's independence referendum in Catalonia, Belgium, October 2, 2017.
Catalan Raimon Castellvi wears a flag with an Estelada (Catalan separatist flag) as he protests outside the European Commission in Brussels after Sunday's independence referendum in Catalonia, Belgium, October 2, 2017. - Sputnik International
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A member of the Regional Council of Veneto in Italy in an interview to Sputnik spoke about the outcome of the Catalan independence referendum's results.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Catalan independence referendum is a legitimate expression of popular will and Spanish authorities are delivering a major "blow to democracy" by denying its results, Stefano Valdegamberi, a member of the Regional Council of Veneto in Italy, told Sputnik on Monday.

"Catalan referendum is an expression of peoples’ will and people have the right to be heard. If Spanish authorities do not listen to its citizens, it will be a big blow to Spanish democracy and to European democracy," Valdegamberi said.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, centre, speaks to the media at a sports center, assigned to be a polling station by the Catalan government and where Puigdemont was originally expected to vote, in Sant Julia de Ramis, near Girona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Scuffles earlier erupted as voters protested as dozens of anti-rioting police broke into a polling station. - Sputnik International
Catalonia Wins 'Right to Statehood' - Catalan President
Moreover, the Italian lawmaker explained that by denying the right to self-determination, Spain's authorities are against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights' norms (ICCPR), a multilateral treaty adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966 and signed and ratified by Spain.

"Spain is a part of ICCPR which stipulates that peoples have the right for self-determination, so why Spain is going against these international norms? Spain recognizes the right of peoples for self-determination in case of Montenegro and Kosovo, so why it does not stick to these principles when it comes to its own people? It is a contradiction," Valdegamberi stressed.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Catalan authorities announced that 90 percent of Catalonia's population voted in favor of independence from Spain during Sunday's referendum. Madrid refused to recognize the vote as legitimate and Spanish police moved in to shut down polling station, prompting clashes with protesters and voters. The Catalan Health Department said that nearly 1,000 people sought medical help after the clashes.

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