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Spain conducting 'coup' in Catalonia: regional parliament speaker

Speaker of the Catalan regional parliament Carme Forcadell delivers a statement in Barcelona, Spain October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s decision to fire Catalonia’s government and force a new election is a “coup” and an “attack against democracy”, the speaker of the Catalan parliament said on Saturday.

“Prime Minister Rajoy wants the parliament of Catalonia to stop being a democratic parliament, and we will not allow this to happen,” Carme Forcadell said in a televised speech.

“This is why we want to send to the citizens of this country a message of firmness and hope. We commit today, after the most serious attack against the Catalan institutions since they were restored, to the defense of the sovereignty of the parliament of Catalonia,” she said.

Reporting by Sam Edwards; Writing by Julien Toyer; Editing by Robin Pomeroy