BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Latest on the Catalonia protests (all times local):
The leader of Catalonia says that the massive protests that have often spiraled into violent clashes with police this week won’t cease until the Spanish government accepts to listen to separatists’ demands.
Catalan regional president Quim Torra tells The Associated Press that “if we don’t sit down to talk this won’t stop.”
Torra spoke Monday after a week of riots in Barcelona and other northeastern towns by separatists angered by the sentencing of nine leaders of their movement to prison.
Torra criticized interim Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez for not agreeing to meet him when he visited injured police officers in a quick visit to Barcelona on Monday.
He said that Spain must realize “this goes beyond Catalonia and that you can’t govern Spain without listening to the voice of the Catalans.”
Spanish leader Pedro Sánchez is traveling to Barcelona, the protest-struck capital of the northeastern Catalonia region, to visit with injured police officers and talks with officials in charge of security.
Clashes between separatists and police waned over the weekend after five successive nights of riots in Barcelona and other Catalan cities. They followed huge peaceful protests by people in Catalonia who were angered by a Supreme Court ruling that sentenced nine separatist leaders to prison for the region’s failed 2017 secession attempt.
Regional health authorities say 593 have been injured in the protests, nearly half of them police, and 14 remain hospitalized. In all, 194 people were arrested.
Sánchez is trying to stay in power as Spain holds a national election on Nov. 10.