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.
"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.