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Spanish PM refuses to answer phone to Catalan leader who is demanding new independence vote

Spain's Prime Minister has refused to answer the phone to the Catalan leader who is demanding a new independence vote amid riotous violence throughout the region.Barcelona's mayor Ada Colau called for calm over the weekend, saying that 'this cannot continue. Barcelona does not deserve it,' as it emerged more than 600 had been injured. Pedro Sanchez's government in Madrid said it would not talk to Catalan leader Quim Torra until he 'and his government condemn firmly and emphatically, without half measures, the violence.' Torra on Saturday called the Prime Minister 'irresponsible,' with local media reporting that Sanchez had thrice refused to answer the phone to Torra. Scroll down for video. Torra said in a statement he has always condemned violence and reiterated that he will continue to defend Catalonia's right to self-determination.Torra has stated he aims to make the region independent from Spain by 2021. The streets of Barcelona and other Catalan cities have been rocked by protests since Spain's Supreme Court sentenced nine separatist leaders last Monday to jail terms of up to 13 years for sedition over the failed 2017 independence bid.Demonstrators have set fire to cars and garbage bins and thrown rocks at police, who have responded by using their batons and firing rubber bullets. Barcelona Mayor Colau said a policeman and a protester remained in a critical condition, adding that 'several people' had been blinded in one eye by police rubber bullets.  Interior Minister Grande-Marlaska told reporters earlier in the day that 288 police officers had been hurt in the clashes, 267 police vehicles damaged and 194 people arrested. Several hundred protesters were also hurt.'The riots are diminishing, but we are working on stopping them altogether,' said Grande-Marlaska. Independence is a highly divisive issue in Catalonia, which is Spain's wealthiest region and has 7.5 million ...Read more

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