Madrid giving Catalan separatists 'no other option' than to declare new republic – vice president

The vice president of Catalonia says the Spanish authorities are giving separatists in the region “no other option” than to continue with their stated goal of proclaiming a new republic. Oriol Junqueras told AP that his party – one of two in the ruling separatist Catalan coalition – is “going to work toward building a republic, because we understand that there is a democratic mandate to establish such a republic.” Junqueras stressed, however, that he was speaking for his Republican Left party, not for the regional government of President Carles Puigdemont. It comes as Madrid prepares to impose direct rule to stop the region breaking away, claiming its recent independence referendum was illegal and void.